STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - LUNCH EDITION - THURSDAY, SEPT. 4, 2014

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE: DATA BREACHES "UNPRECEDENTED" IN 2013

Noting her own personal information was breached four times in 2013, state consumer affairs chief Barbara Anthony on Thursday announced that more than one million Massachusetts residents had their personal information compromised last year, mostly in connection with payment processing centers and retail establishments. "Last year was an unprecedented year for high volume and high profile data breaches. I alone had my information breached four times," Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony said in a statement. "However, with the exception of Target, the number of Massachusetts residents whose personal information was compromised by data breaches was down by almost 40 percent from 2012, which is encouraging." According to a new Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation annual report, Target reported the largest data breach last year, a breach that stemmed from an attack by hackers who stole 40 million debit and credit card numbers. In 2013, with Target included, more than 1.1 million Massachusetts residents were affected by 1,821 breaches. Non-Target breaches impacted 216,642 residents. The report also shows an increase in data breaches in the education sector, mostly due to hackers or the use of malware and stolen records or electronics.


Advertisement

"It isn't a surprise that the education sector was a target given the types of sensitive information that they collect for financial aid and admissions," said Anthony. - M. Norton/SHNS

PATRICK SEES LIFE SCIENCES SECTOR ADDING MORE JOBS

Gov. Deval Patrick plans to make a couple of announcements soon about life sciences industry developments that could each generate in the neighborhood of 400 to 500 jobs, he said Thursday. During a monthly appearance on Boston Public Radio, Patrick touted GE Healthcare's plans to move its headquarters to Massachusetts from New Jersey and said overall employment in Massachusetts is at a 25-year high. Patrick said an important goal is to spread job growth to all areas of the state. - M. Norton/SHNS

MURRAY, ROSENBERG, KENNEDY HEADING TO IRELAND

Senate President Therese Murray, who presided over a session Thursday morning at the State House, released details of her trip to Ireland next week where she will be joined by Senate Majority Leader Stanley Rosenberg, Sen. Thomas Kennedy, family and friends. Billed as an economic development trip, Murray will receive the 2014 Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora Award the Homecoming Hero Award in Belfast. The group also has meetings and events planned in in Donegal, Derry, Belfast and Dublin to promote collaboration and investment in Massachusetts. Murray plans to leave Wednesday, Sept. 10 and return to Massachusetts on Sept. 19. The trip is being paid for through a combination of personal and campaign funds. - M. Murphy/SHNS

NECC PHARMACIST ARRESTED TRYING TO FLEE COUNTRY

Federal authorities on Thursday arrested a former New England Compounding Center pharmacist as he attempted to board a flight at Logan Airport to Hong Kong. Glenn Adam Chin, a 46-year-old Canton man, was charged with one count of mail fraud as part of the U.S. Attorney and Justice Department's ongoing criminal investigation into the 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis connected to contaminated drugs prepared at the Framingham pharmacy. The outbreak infected 751 patients who received tainted injections of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, or MPA, compounded at NECC resulting in 64 deaths. Chin was the supervising pharmacist at NECC allegedly involved in compounding the contaminated drug, and has been charged with participating in a scheme to fraudulently cause a batch of the drug to be labeled as injectable and shipped to Michigan Pain Specialists, who had 217 patients infected and 15 die as a result of the virus. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office said its investigation is ongoing, but Chin was arrested and charged after authorities learned he was planning to leave the country on a flight scheduled to leave for Hong Kong Thursday. Chin will appear in federal court later Thursday, and faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for the mail fraud charge. - M. Murphy/SHNS

UPTON HOUSE CANDIDATE DRAWING SUPPORT FROM DIEHL, O'CONNELL

Rep. Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman) will hit the campaign trail on Thursday in support of one of the two Republicans running to replace retiring Rep. George Peterson (R-Grafton). Diehl will be door-knocking in Upton with Shawn Craig (R-Upton), an Iraq War veteran who is facing off against David Muradian (R-Grafton), who worked as Peterson's aide for seven years. Muradian has been endorsed by Peterson and Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis. The seat, which Peterson has held since 1995, includes Grafton, Northbridge and Upton. Rep. Shaunna O'Connell of Taunton visited the Ninth Worcester House district Wednesday to campaign for Craig. The winner of the Sept. 9 primary will face Democrat Martin Green of Northbridge in November. - G. Dumcius/SHNS

END