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Health, Science and Technology

Hundreds of private medical records exposed in Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County is in the process of contacting a 260 Central Coast residents after a data breach exposed their medical records. 

The Public Health Department says a staff member took the information for an unapproved academic research project.

Department Director Doctor Takashi Wada says the privacy and security of protected health information are a top priority. He says County Health regrets that it happened, and his staff is taking steps to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

"At this point in the investigation, we have no reason to believe that any identifying information was shared outside of the department," said Wada. "It doesn't appear that identifiable information was shared broadly."

As a result of this incident, all Health Care Center staff are being re-trained.