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Dental Care Alliance Exposure of Private Dental Info Class Action

Dental Care Alliance, LLC (DCA) offers practice support services to related or affiliated dental providers in its network. Unfortunately, the complaint for this class action alleges DCA failed “to implement adequate and reasonable cybersecurity procedures and protocols necessary to protect consumers’ [p]rivate [i]nformation”—that is, it experienced a cyberattack, which exposed the information of the patients of those other dental practices.

The class for this action is all persons who private information was exposed in the data breach and who were given notice of the data breach by DCA or one of its affiliates.

DCA held in its systems the personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) of the patients of around 320 dental practices in twenty states. The information included names, addresses, dental diagnosis and treatment information, patient account numbers, billing data, bank account numbers, and health insurance data.

DCA appears to have first become aware of the data breach around October 11, 2020. It then hired a cybersecurity company to investigate. What that company found was that, for almost a month between September 18 and October 13, 2020, someone had engaged in unauthorized activity on DCA’s systems, compromising the information of around a million patients.

Not until around December 7 did DCA notify the victims that their information had been accessed. At that time, DCA told them “to remain vigilant and to review financial statements for suspicious activity” but did not offer them any access to financial fraud or identity theft monitoring services.

According to the complaint, DCA had both ordinary obligations to protect the information as well as obligations of privacy for health information under HIPPA.

Healthcare providers have increasingly come under cyberattack because of the value of the information they retain. The complaint claims that, of the 1,473 data breaches recorded in 2019, 525 or 35.64% of them occurred in the medical or healthcare industry. One report allegedly said, “Entities like smaller municipalities and hospitals are attractive to ransomware criminals … because they often have lesser IT defenses and a high incentive to regain access to their data quickly.”

The complaint alleges that DCA maintained the information “in a reckless manner” and that the data breach was a “direct result of [DCA’s] failure” to properly protect the information it kept on file…” The complaint claims that DCA should have been on notice that it was a likely target of attack.

Also, it says, DCA “failed to properly monitor the computer network and systems that housed the Private Information.” If it had, the complaint claims, it would have discovered the breach earlier.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Dental Care Alliance Exposure of Private Dental Info Complaint

January 6, 2021

Dental Care Alliance, LLC (DCA) offers practice support services to related or affiliated dental providers in its network. Unfortunately, the complaint for this class action alleges DCA failed “to implement adequate and reasonable cybersecurity procedures and protocols necessary to protect consumers’ [p]rivate [i]nformation”—that is, it experienced a cyberattack, which exposed the information of the patients of those other dental practices.

Dental Care Alliance Exposure of Private Dental Info Complaint

Case Event History

Dental Care Alliance Exposure of Private Dental Info Complaint

January 6, 2021

Dental Care Alliance, LLC (DCA) offers practice support services to related or affiliated dental providers in its network. Unfortunately, the complaint for this class action alleges DCA failed “to implement adequate and reasonable cybersecurity procedures and protocols necessary to protect consumers’ [p]rivate [i]nformation”—that is, it experienced a cyberattack, which exposed the information of the patients of those other dental practices.

Dental Care Alliance Exposure of Private Dental Info Complaint
Tags: Exposing Private Information, Exposure to cyber crime, Your Privacy