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Universities Rocked by Data Thefts

The University of Miami and the University of Virginia are the two latest organizations to be rocked by data breaches after the theft of sensitive data affecting tens of thousands of people.

Details of the University of Miamis security snafu are starting to emerge after officials confirmed yesterday the theft of backup tapes containing medical data and Social Security numbers on some 47,000 people.

In a statement released Thursday, the university explained that the theft occurred when a case of tapes was stolen from a vehicle in downtown Coral Gables. The vehicle had been contracted by a “private off-site storage company," though officials but did not reveal the identity of the firm involved.

Anyone who has been a patient of a University of Miami physician or visited one of the university’s medical facilities since Jan. 1, 1999, is likely to be included on the tapes, according to officials.

Information contained on the stolen media includes names, addresses, Social Security numbers, health information, and, in some cases, credit card and financial data.

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