Community college officials in Florida are scrambling to notify more than 126,000 students that their personal information was inadvertently exposed online following a routine software upgrade.
As eSecurity Planet reports, this latest breach underscores just how vulnerable U.S. universities and colleges have become in recent years as more and more data is moved around between various departments and websites.
CCLA officials said the information was available online from May 29 to June 2. The community colleges were affected because their borrower records were contained in temporary work files that were being processed at the time the breach occurred.
The library agency learned of the incident on June 23, after a student reported finding personal information through a Google search.
“We pride ourselves on protecting private information and deeply regret this inadvertent exposure,” Richard Madaus, CEO of CCLA, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I apologize to those involved for any worry or inconvenience this may cause them. We will continue to enhance our technology to safeguard all of the information entrusted to us.”
Students at six Florida community colleges this week are learning a harsh lesson about data insecurity after school officials began notifying them that their most sensitive personal information was inadvertently exposed in late May and early June during what was supposed to be a routine software upgrade.
Community college officials said more than 126,000 students attending Broward College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Northwest Florida State College, Pensacola State College, South Florida Community College and Tallahassee Community College were the innocent victims of a botched software upgrade by the College Center for Library Automation (CCLA).
While the exact type of information exposed was not disclosed, Florida state law requires companies and organizations to notify victims whenever data such as names, Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers are compromised.