Missing Computers At CU-Boulder Contained I.D. Information, Investigation Is Underway

September 22, 2006

News Release


The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder has issued letters to a number of students whose names and other information were stored on two computers that were found to be missing during the school's move to temporary quarters last May.

Letters of notification are being sent to the 1,372 students and former students today, Sept. 22. To date, no known identify-theft cases have resulted from the possible data breach involving the business school computers. The letters include information about how to protect against potential fraud and identity theft.

The computers were placed in storage last May and were to be taken out of storage the week of August 28, when it was discovered that one was missing. A second computer subsequently was found to be missing.

An investigation has been underway since late August. It is not yet known whether the computers were misplaced or have been stolen.

Business school classes and some offices have moved to the Fleming Building while an addition and renovation of the Leeds School building is underway through August 2007. The construction necessitated the moving and storage of equipment and furniture after classes ended last May.

The computers that contained identifying information were used by two business faculty members and included names, Social Security numbers and grades for various kinds of class work, including homework assignments and tests.

Although there is no evidence that the personal information has been accessed, the university is notifying the individuals of the potential identity theft so they may take precautions. No financial or credit card information was stored on the computer.

Individuals receiving the letter of notification have been directed to the following Web site for information on protecting against identity theft: www.colorado.edu/its/security/privacy.html. The site includes a link where people can download a document called "Facts About Identity Theft."

Recipients of the letter may call a hotline at (303) 492-8741 if they have questions. They also may call Colleen Dame, assistant to the dean of the Leeds School of Business, at (303) 492-1809, or Consuelo Delval, assistant to the associate deans of the Leeds School of Business at (303) 492-4415, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., MDT.

In 2005 the university began eliminating the use of Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information in cases where the information was not necessary. In April 2005 the university finished converting all 30,000 student identification numbers from Social Security numbers to a unique student ID number that cannot be used for obtaining or extending credit.

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