Privacy breaches in the medical field reached their highest level in eight years in 2012, and comprise nearly a third of all incidents reported so far this year, according to a report published by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). The San Diego-based consumer advocacy and educational organization said that 27 percent of all privacy breaches in 2012 have occurred in the healthcare industry — 10 percent higher than last year. More than 1.5 million individual healthcare records were exposed in these breaches. The ITRC cautioned companies to be careful of sharing data with third parties and contractors, pointing out that while a workplace may take steps to prevent privacy breaches, sometimes that information is shared with other organizations that are not as careful. The number of data breaches involving third parties doubled in the past year.