Minnesota State Colleges & Universities HR Department Puts Three SSNs OnlineFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 7, 2008
Media Contact: Aaron Titus
ST PAUL, Minnesota. The Human Resources Division of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities website (http://www.mnscu.edu) has posted several "Leave of Absence Summary Reports" online. All of the reports contained the names, TRA Numbers, and Leave information for dozens of employees. Each report also contained a column named "SSN." While most of the reports omitted employees' Social Security Numbers, the Dakota County Tech College Report for FY 2007 did not. That report contained the names, social security numbers, leave dates, and other information for three Dakota County Tech College employees. By placing this information online, Minnesota State Colleges & Universities has placed these three individuals at increased risk of identity theft and other types of fraud.
The tables were posted online prior to January 17, 2008 and cached by at least one major search engine. We encourage Minnesota State Colleges & Universities to review their data handling processes.
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.