SSNs of All Laredo ISD Students Missing In Data Breach; Trustee says not “a big deal”

Morgan Smith reports:

A disk holding the Social Security numbers of every student in the Laredo Independent School District — a total of 24,903 — has gone missing, according to the Texas Education Agency.

TEA spokeswoman Suzanne Marchman said the agency first became aware of the situation in January, when officials with the University of Texas at Dallas’ Education Research Center contacted the TEA looking for sensitive data they had requested from Laredo ISD — data that was supposed to be sent to the TEA first.

At that point, the TEA contacted Laredo ISD for the package tracking number, only to learn that the CD had been signed for at the William B. Travis Building in Austin, which houses five state government agencies, including the TEA. But the CD was never delivered to James Van Overschelde, the TEA’s former director of educational research and policy who was working with UTD on the project — and the agency doesn’t know who signed for it.

Read more in the Texas Tribune.

Okay, insert the entity’s usual disclaimers and outrageous finger-pointing here, because what is really stunning about this report is a stunningly stupid statement reportedly made by George Beckelhymer, president of Laredo ISD’s Board of Trustees:

[Beckelhymer] said he was also unaware that the information had gone missing.

“I am trying to be sure we are looking in the right spot if we are looking for blame on this,” he said. “Is it really LISD’s blame? Did UTD use an inappropriate method to request the [information] and then tricked us? Does the TEA have fault that they didn’t have the proper personnel to sign legitimately?”

Beckelhymer also added that, while he doesn’t like “sharing” Social Security numbers, he doesn’t think the fact that they’re missing is “a big deal.”


h/t, @DrInfoSec

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