CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Cassie Cope | The Charlotte Observer) - The personal information of about 6,000 people who took a drug test for a job, internship or to volunteer at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services could be compromised.
A spreadsheet containing personal information was sent in error to a vendor in an unencrypted email, according to the state agency.
The applicants affected went through routine drug screenings.
"Upon learning of the breach on Sept. 27, 2017, DHHS immediately started an investigation and promptly coordinated with the vendor on the deletion and secure destruction of the personal information in the spreadsheet," the agency said in a statement.
"While DHHS cannot determine for certain that the email was not intercepted during transmission, DHHS has determined that the risk of misuse of the personal information is low."
The agency said it mailed letters to affected individuals.
The agency advised those affected put an alert on their credit files and monitor bank statements for any unusual activity. DHHS said it is reviewing how to prevent similar instances from occurring in the future.