Friday, July 25, 2008

Another Example of User Data at Risk

Athletics logo containing the Terrapin mascotImage via Wikipedia
I've posted a number of stories recently detailing data breaches, stolen laptops, and risks of traveling with a laptop at the airport. As this report from the Chronicle for Higher Education shows, vulnerability to identity or data theft is not limited to electronic data. Even a postal mailing - from a seemingly innocuous college office - can open users to unexpected risks.

Wired Campus: Social Security Numbers of U. of Maryland Students Exposed
About 24,000 students at the University of Maryland are at risk of having their identities stolen.

On July 1, the university’s Department of Transportation Services sent all students registered for upcoming fall classes parking brochures. Affixed to the brochures were mailing labels that contained student’s Social Security numbers, although the numbers were not identified as such. The numbers were inadvertently put on the mailing labels, according to a university Web site.

J. David Allen, director of the transportation department, apologized for the security breach in a Thursday e-mail message to registered students.
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