Reba Lean reports:
The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development has warned school districts across the state that information on thousands of students, including some from Fairbanks, was contained on a computer hard drive stolen in Juneau.
The department sent a letter to all school districts, including Fairbanks, alerting local officials to information breach. The Juneau Police Department is investigating the reported theft.
Information regarding thousands of students’ names, dates of birth, and student identification numbers could be accessed with the stolen equipment. Other information that might be available on the stolen hard drive included students’ gender, school district affiliation, school affiliation, race/ethnicity, disability status, grade level, test scores and enrollment information.
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In related coverage, Jason Lamb reports:
The department says the theft likely happened in early February, when a computer system that holds the student information was being upgraded. As a backup during the upgrade, the department says information stored on a server – behind two locked doors – was transferred to an external hard drive.
“The hard drive was stolen from us,” said Eric Fry, a public information officer with the Department of Education and Early Development. “It was stolen at the time when we were having other small pieces of small electronic equipment being stolen, like headphones and thumb drives.
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The Dept. of Education uploaded a copy of their notification to parents, dated Feb. 25. The letter notes that Social Security numbers were not involved in the breach.