Tulare County Health and Human Services reports possible data breach

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- More than 800 people in Tulare County are now being told to change their email addresses. Tulare County Health and Human Services says one of their employees failed to encrypt those addresses when a recent email was sent out.

"The emails were not put in the blind carbon copy section of the email. They were sent out so that all the emails were visible," said Tammie Weyker with the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency.

Weyker says the email addresses belong to patients at two South Valley health clinics: Visalia Health Care Center on North Dinuba and the Farmersville Health Care Center on East Visalia. Weyker says no health information has been compromised.

"The only thing that could've happened is if a name was part of the email address, then of course that name would have been out there," said Weyker.

A letter is being sent to the 845 people impacted. It tells people to change their emails. It also provides a phone number and email address to contact for more information. A hold has been placed on all the online portals connected to the breach. The county says they're already putting into place new policies and procedures to make sure this never happens again.

"We sincerely apologize to the public that this has happened. Information is valuable and we realize that," said Weyker.

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