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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

FLDOE offers help to teachers whose data became exposed



The Florida Department of Education will have staff on hand Monday afternoon to assist any of the 47,000 participants in the state's teacher preparation programs whose personal computerized information may have been compromised in recent weeks.

You will be able to call 866-507-1109 beginning this afternoon to report your concerns. The department has agreed to cover the costs of identification protection.

Department officials announced over the weekend that the personal data of students in university-based teacher preparation programs had inadvertently been made public online during a data transfer between servers in late May at Florida State University. The move failed to include the implementation of security measures to restrict access to the material.

An initial investigation revealed that the material might have been accessed 23 times via Google, perhaps including unauthorized access.The department stressed that it did not appear the information had been used inappropriately.

“This is unacceptable. All Floridians deserve our unceasing protection of their personal information and must have confidence that it will never be exposed for the potential of illegal use,” education commissioner Tony Bennett said in a news release. “I have ordered a top to bottom review of the security of every database and our staff is expediting the transfer of all confidential information into servers directly monitored and secured by the department.”

The department also urged anyone whose information had been breached to take all necessary steps with law enforcement, credit reporting agencies and other institutions that help protect against ID theft. It recommended contacting the Federal Trade Commission at or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338) for those who believed their personal information had been misused.

[Last modified: Monday, June 24, 2013 2:16pm]


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