Advocate Data Breach Update: Class Action Lawsuit Filed

Advocate Health Care is now facing a class action lawsuit from patients affected by a theft of four computers from the Downers Grove, Ill.-based system's offices, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The computers were stolen from Advocate in August, and contained the personal health information of more than 4 million patients. HHS announced a few days later the launch of an investigation into the breach, which is the second-largest breach reported to HHS since a mandatory notification rule was put into place in 2009.

The suit claims by failing to encrypt the computers and taking other security measures, Advocate violated patient privacy laws, according to the report.

Advocate maintains there is little cause for concern among patients: "We want to reassure our patients that we do not believe the data was targeted and we have no information that leads us to believe that the information has been misused," said Advocate officials in a statement, according to the report. "Thus, we feel confident the facts will demonstrate that the lawsuit is without merit."

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