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The 10 Biggest Data Breaches of 2019

More than 137 million records were exposed in the 10 biggest data breaches in 2019, with six of the 10 largest incidents occurring at medical or healthcare organizations and two taking place at government agencies.

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9. UW Medicine

Number Of Records Exposed: 973,024

A vulnerability on a UW Medicine website server caused by "internal human error" made protected internal files available and visible by search on the internet starting on Dec. 4, 2018. The files contained patients’ names, medical record numbers, and a description and purpose of what patient information was shared, with whom, and why.

In general, the files described what parts of a patient's medical record were shared rather than providing their actual health information. In some instances, the UW Medicine files included the name of a lab test that was performed (but not the result) or the name of the research study that included the name of a health condition.

UW Medicine fixed the error immediately upon discovery on Dec. 26, 2018, and then worked with Google to remove saved versions of the files and prevent them from showing up in search results. All saved files were completely removed from Google’s servers by Jan. 10, 2019, and the data leakage was made public on Feb. 20.

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