Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Data for nearly 12,000 UF students exposed on Internet

University of Florida officials are trying to control the potential damage from a mistake that made the personal information of nearly 12,000 students available on the Internet.

The information includes student names, addresses, Social Security numbers and academic records such as grade averages.

The school's largest-ever privacy breach involves current and former students who were enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 2003 to 2005, and who had contact with the Office for Academic Support and Institutional Service, known as OASIS.

The office identifies low-income and first-generation college students who might be expected to struggle in college and helps them with tutoring, counseling, course selection, time management, stress management and other services.

About 11,300 students will receive letters this week notifying them of the breach.

Officials uncovered the problem in May as part of a routine audit schedule put in place after a much smaller information breach in November.

An audit by the school's department of academic technology found that two OASIS student employees created online student accounts and uploaded them to an Internet server so they could work on the database from outside the office. But they failed to install security measures to keep others from viewing the records, officials said.

Since 2005, the site has been "dormant but accessible," said university spokesman Steve Orlando. "It was just sitting there."

The university removed the information immediately. It also conducted a forensic audit and found no evidence anyone outside OASIS accessed the site, Orlando said. "But we just can't say with 100 percent certainty that that didn't happen." The letter being sent this week says the risk of identity theft from the breach is extremely low.

Orlando could not immediately determine whether anyone had been disciplined in the case or whether any OASIS supervisors knew the student employees were creating online student accounts. The students have since left the university.

About 570 students affected by the breach were not sent letters because the university does not have their contact information. Students who think their records may have been exposed and do not receive letters should consult the school's privacy Web site,, or call toll-free 1-866-876-4472.

Data for nearly 12,000 UF students exposed on Internet 06/11/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 11:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. PolitiFact takes on big health care question: Does GOP bill cut Medicaid?


    Politics and math don't always get along, and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway raised a common complaint about how people talk about the future of Medicaid spending under the Senate Republican health care bill.

    Alice Jacobs, 90, at Dogwood Village, a nonprofit county-owned nursing home in Orange, Va., on June 23. Medicaid, targeted by Republicans' health care bill, pays for most of the 1.4 million elderly people in nursing homes, some of whom do not know they are on it. (Khue Bui/The New York Times)
  2. Higher Social Security payouts help Florida post a big jump in personal income

    Personal Finance

    Personal income grew 1.3 percent in Florida in the first quarter of this year, a four-way tie among all states for second-fastest growth behind Idaho.

  3. Gov. Scott in Washington as health care debate intensifies


    Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday began a daylong series of meetings in Washington on health care, saying he wants to ensure Florida gets its share of Medicaid funding while praising parts of the Senate GOP’s Obamacare replacement.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks at Creative Sign Designs in Tampa on June 13.
  4. Rays series preview: Who are the Pirates?


    After an off day Monday, the Rays head on the road to PNC Park for a three-game interleague series against the Pirates. Here's the information you need to know about Pittsburgh before the action kicks off.

    Record: 35-41, fourth in NL Central

    Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, left, has rebounded from a rough start, while fellow outfielder Gregory Polanco, right, has fallen off recently.
  5. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and estranged wife Carole put Beach Drive condo on the market

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo on the market for $1.5 million.

    U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo in Parkshore Plaza on the market for $1.5 million. {Courtesy of Amy Lamb/Native House Photography]