2002 MU student data released by mistake

September 16. 2005

By Joe Giordano, Cox News Service

www.daytondailynews.com/localnews/ content/localnews/daily/0916miami.html

OXFORD | A report containing the Social Security numbers and grades of 21,762 Miami University students on all campuses enrolled in fall 2002 was publicly accessible via the Internet for nearly three years.

A Miami graduate alerted the alumni office of the breach Friday after she noticed the report while performing a Google.com search of her name, said Richard Little, senior director of university communications. The report was removed Monday morning.

The information was accidentally posted into a public Internet folder of former Accountancy Department Chairman John Cumming. He said he does not remember placing the information there, but recalls requesting the report in 2002, Little said.

"Faculty members use it to see the (grade point averages) of students," he said. MU used Social Security numbers to identify students prior to 2003. Now, students are issued an ID number.

"All faculty and staff have received e-mails about the handling of confidential information," he said.

Although it is uncertain when the report surfaced online, university officials suspect it was posted near its 2002 request. Miami online logs date back one year.

Miami has been attempting to contact those affected through e-mails and letters.

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