SAINT PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Memorial Blood Centers reported today that it has begun notifying blood donors of the theft of a laptop computer holding donor information. About 268,000 donor records on this laptop computer contain a donor name in combination with the donor’s social security number. The laptop computer was stolen on November 28, 2007 in downtown Minneapolis during early morning preparations for a blood drive.
The theft was captured on building security cameras. The Minneapolis Police Department was notified and Memorial Blood Centers is working with law enforcement authorities to recover the laptop computer.
Access to the donor information on the laptop is protected by multiple levels of passwords and requires the use of other technologies to prevent unauthorized use. The donor records do not contain medical information.
“We apologize for any anxiety this incident may cause for our donors,” said Don Berglund, Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Blood Centers. “This appears to have been a random crime. We believe the measures securing access to the donor records protect against their inappropriate use. We also immediately implemented additional measures to further protect against unauthorized access to donor data.”
Memorial Blood Centers has begun notifying the affected donors whose names and Social Security numbers were on the stolen computer. Notified individuals are being encouraged to monitor their financial accounts as a precaution. A special hotline has been established for donors who may have further questions about this theft. Donors with questions can reach the hotline by calling 888-333-1491.
Persons with any knowledge of the theft are asked to call the Minneapolis Police Tipline at (612) 692-TIPS.
Memorial Blood Centers is a nationally known, locally operated nonprofit community blood center that has supplied blood and blood components to area hospitals for nearly 60 years. Memorial Blood Center operates 10 donor centers at nine Minnesota sites and one in Superior, Wisconsin and conducts more than 125 blood drives monthly. For more information about Memorial Blood Centers, visit www.memorialbloodcenters.org.