Florida State University Prof Posts 33 Students' SSNs OnlineFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2008
Media Contact: Aaron Titus
TALLAHASSEE, Florida. The personal information of 66 Florida State University students sat on a public FSU Chemistry Department server for more than five years. Several files included names, 33 social security numbers, grades, homework and exam scores. All of the individuals affected by this breach appear to be former students of Dr. Steinbock, an FSU professor.
The Liberty Coalition discovered the files in late January, 2008 and notified the university. FSU quickly removed the files from the server, but they remained available through search engine caches until late March, 2008.
This incident falls into a nationwide pattern where university professors use public university servers to back up sensitive student personal information, either unaware of the sensitive information, or unaware that the information would be available to the public.
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.