University of Florida notifies 719 individuals about privacy breach
From the University of Florida today:
University of Florida officials are notifying 719 individuals who were owed a check or refund by the university that their Social Security numbers were exposed on Florida’s Unclaimed Property website.
In July 2005, the university submitted its Annual Unclaimed Property Report to the Florida State Department of Financial Services as it is required to do each year. Included in the report were Social Security numbers as required by the State of Florida. That year, the state inappropriately disclosed this information on its Bureau of Unclaimed Property website.
The information was taken down by Florida’s Department of Financial Services on Jan. 12, 2012, the same day it was discovered. The unclaimed property could have been an overpayment to UF, a financial aid refund, a parking fine refund or other similarly unclaimed money owed to vendors, employees or students.
The state agency has confirmed that there are no other instances of restricted data disclosures. The university also checked information from other submitted annual reports posted online and confirmed that no other restricted data was inappropriately disclosed. The university will follow up after submission of future reports to verify that the information has been entered correctly on the state’s website.
The university does not know whether the information was accessed or used. Florida Law requires the university to notify individuals if a potential loss of personal identification information has occurred so that protective steps can be taken. Some guidelines to safeguard personal identification information is provided on UF’s privacy website at http://privacy.ufl.edu.
“We deeply regret this event, and assure you we continue to take steps to keep such incidents from happening again,” said Susan Blair, UF’s chief privacy officer.
Concerned individuals may also call UF’s Privacy Office Hotline toll-free at 1-866-876-HIPA.