Stolen UI computers contain personal data for 70,000

January 11, 2006

Three desktop computers have disappeared from the University of Idaho's Advancement Services office - and now school officials say the personal data of alumni, donors, employees and students may be in danger.

UI says someone stole the computers - and an internal investigation shows that as many as 70,000 social security numbers, names and addresses may be stored on the hard drives.

There is currently no evidence any of the data has been misused. The computers are still missing.

The school says it will notify more than 331,000 people who may have been exposed - with those people living in the state of Idaho receiving an e-mail, and out-of-state folks will receive notice by US Mail.

"We deeply regret this incident and the worry and inconvenience it may cause, but we want to assure donors, alumni, students and employees that the University of Idaho is strengthening its processes for securing and storing our sensitive data," University President Tim White said in a prepared statement.

The computers went missing over the Thanksgiving weekend . and school officials notified Moscow police, who forwarded the case on to the Latah County Sheriff's Office. Law enforcement officials asked the school to delay notifying those potentially affected.

A special website has been set up - hotline established - (866) 351-1860.

UI says it is taking steps to improve security, including physical and digital methods.

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