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More Than 164,000 Wyomingites' Health Data Mistakenly Released

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Mid March, the Wyoming Department of Health noticed health information had been released to the public. An employee mistakenly uploaded files containing COVID-19, influenza, and breath alcohol test results data to a public online storage location belonging to Github.com.

This released over 164,000 Wyoming residents and others health information.

The department has been using github for code management while writing code for data models.

Department of Health's Kim Deti said it exposed information of those who took a COVID-19 test between January 2020 and March 2021 and included names, addresses, dates of birth, test results and dates of services.

"For the people that did the blood alcohol testing, which was a much smaller portion of the total, there may have been some of their license information," said Deti. "But it did not have social security numbers or banking information or health insurance or financial information."

The department has sent out letters to those affected. However, not all contact information was available so there may be some people who don't get a letter in the next two weeks. If any Wyoming resident received COVID-19 tests anywhere in the United States between January 2020 and March 9, 2021 but does not receive a letter from the department, they should call the hotline. That also goes for anyone who received a breath alcohol test performed by law enforcement in Wyoming between April 19, 2012 and January 27, 2021.

The department is offering affected individuals with one year of free identity theft protection through IdentifyForce. Deti said this is the largest exposure of health data the department has dealt with in the past 15 years.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Kamila Kudelska, at kkudelsk@uwyo.edu.


In addition to reporting daily on the happenings in Northwest Wyoming, Kamila is also the producer of the Kids Ask WhY Podcast and the History Unloaded Podcast.Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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