Matt Brennan reports:
Aurora resident Joy Smith was shocked when she opened her mail a few days ago.
She had received a letter from the Harrisburg Project, a data storage subcontractor who works with the Illinois State Board of Education. The letter said two laptops had been stolen from a van being used by Harrisburg employees, and Smith’s child’s personal information was on one of those laptops.
To Smith, the letter raised more questions than answers. What information was compromised? Why was that information on a laptop instead of a more secure server?
“I don’t keep his personal information on my own laptop, so I don’t feel like this information was safe,” Smith said.
The Harrisburg Project is contracted by the state to store the personal information of special education students and instructors for reimbursement. On Thursday, ISBE spokesperson Matt Vanover confirmed that two computers were missing. Vanover said records for 7,841 students and 2,613 staff from 42 districts in northern Illinois area were on the computers. Social Security numbers, student ID numbers and teaching certificate numbers were stored on the laptops, he said.
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