By Associated Press - Tuesday, January 3, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire’s health commissioner is offering an extra apology as his agency deals with a data breach that led to personal information of up to 15,000 people being posted online.

Authorities said last week that a former patient at the state psychiatric hospital accessed the confidential data last year using a computer in the hospital library and posted the information to social media last month.

Some of the 15,000 people have died, but the state is notifying their families because the information still could be used in identity theft.

Department Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers said Tuesday that while notification of the data breach may be a difficult reminder for relatives, it’s necessary to prevent potential fraud. He says he sincerely regrets any distress caused by the breach or notifications.

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