Computer security breach exposes the personal data of 24,000 Broward College summer school students

 
The Miami Herald
 
As many as 24,000 Broward College summer school students were put at risk of identity theft after an ``inadvertent exposure'' of their personal information during a computer upgrade, officials said Tuesday.

For five days in late May and early June, students' information was on the Web, unprotected.

The College Center for Library Automation, which provides library services and electronic resources to Florida's community colleges, on Tuesday released a statement acknowledging and apologizing for the security breach, which also affected five other Florida schools.

``We pride ourselves on protecting private information,'' Chief Executive Officer Richard Madaus said in the statement. ``I apologize to those involved for any worry or inconvenience this may cause them.''

Those affected will be getting letters from the center, as well as instructions on how to place a free fraud alert on their credit files to minimize the risk of identity theft. The center is a cooperative effort between the Florida Department of Education's Division of Florida Colleges and the College Council of Presidents.

Statewide, about 126,000 community college students, faculty and staff were affected by the glitch. At Broward College, the leaked personal data was limited to students.

Miami Dade College, along with more than 20 other schools, was not being processed by the software upgrade at the time, and was not impacted.

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