Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-1950 fax
Miami notifying students, alumni of privacy breach
Miami is notifying all students who attended Miami during the fall 2002 semester that a report containing their names, Social Security numbers and grades had been inadvertently placed in a file accessible through the Internet.
The university has no evidence of illegal use of the information, which included data on the 21,762 students enrolled on all Miami campuses in fall 2002. No other students were affected. The information was in an isolated area of the university's network, in a file assigned to a now-retired faculty member, and thus avoided detection until last week when an alumna discovered the file after entering her name in a search engine.
“Nevertheless, private and confidential information was exposed, and we deeply regret the incident. We have removed the file and are writing the students and alumni to apologize. We also are taking steps to rectify the problem and to avoid a similar instance in the future,” said J. Reid Christenberry, vice president for information technology.
The university is writing a letter to all those affected, many of whom have now graduated, directing them to a toll-free number, 1-800-588-9839, that is staffed by investigators experienced in dealing with privacy issues. Miami has established a web page, www.muohio.edu/privacyhelp, with additional information. Individuals who want to contact the university about the situation can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (513) 529-0438.
The report was a standard grade report used by chairs of academic departments, and included each individual's cumulative and semester grades among other, less private information. Miami no longer uses Social Security numbers to identify students.
Date Published: 09/22/2005