Corona-Norco Unified School District Posts 81 Teacher SSNs OnlineFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 8, 2010
Media Contact: Aaron Titus
An unknown Corona-Norco Unified School District employee accidentally posted the names, social security numbers, and teaching certifications for 83 Corona-Norco Unified School District teachers on the school district's website. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michael Lin said that the personal information was in an internal report and was never supposed to go online. The file was potentially available to anyone with an internet connection "for less than one year," according to Lin. The file was not encrypted and not password-protected. At least one search engine discovered and copied the file. Mr. Lin also indicated that the district is conducting an internal investigation of the event.
The report was discovered by the Liberty Coalition on August 31, 2010 using a simple Google search. Although school district officials deleted the file within minutes of being notified of the breach, and worked with search engines to remove the file from search results, they announced the breach before Google had completely purged the file from its caches. The Liberty Coalition confirmed that the file is no longer available via Google search, however as of the date of this release, the file is available to the public through a very specific Google Docs link. The Liberty Coalition did not announce this breach until after the District had independently notified members of the public. The Liberty Coalition is not aware that the file is available through any method other than the direct Google Docs link. However, it does illustrate that once information is put online, it will never go away.
Teachers on this list are at an increased risk of identity theft and other forms of fraud.
Individuals affected by this exposure should immediately visit www.nationalidwatch.org and search for their names, to confirm what types of personal information were exposed. NationalIDWatch.org has a list of recommended steps victims should take.
National ID Watch is a search engine for personal information breaches. Sponsored by the Washington, DC non-profit Liberty Coalition, NationalIDWatch.org provides more than a million free personalized Identity Exposure Reports™ as a public service.
Each Identity Exposure Report (IXR) documents what types of personal information were exposed (such as Social Security Numbers, Birth Dates, Addresses, etc.), without revealing them. Each IXR also details the situation surrounding each exposure, and contact information of those responsible for the breach. Armed with this information, victims can further investigate, take action, or correct harm.