Florida Students and Faculty learn of security lapse placing them at risk for identity theft

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As I mentioned in an earlier blog, students and faculty in colleges nationwide continue to discover they've been put at risk for identity theft when told their personal information may have been compromised in a university data breach.  Whether the theft of information occurs at the hands of a professional hacker, security lapse, or brought about by a lost or stolen laptop, the end result is the same -their personal and private information has landed the hands of a stranger.   
Florida State College at Jacksonville

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The Campus Voice, a student newspaper of Florida State College at Jacksonville pointed out the effects of a recent security lapse in Florida that left "Students Shaken after they learned of a recently reported data exposure that can affect as many as 126,000 individuals at six colleges in Florida. The breach included Social Security numbers, driver's license or state ID numbers, account numbers, PIN or debit numbers and a required password that would permit access to an individual's financial account.

In addition to Florida State College at Jacksonville, Broward College, Northwest Florida State College, Pensacola State College, South Florida Community College, and Tallahassee Community College were also affected.

Students or faculty with questions or concerns can visit the CCLA web page or call (877)506-2210.

If you believe you may be affected by this data breach, or any of the recently reported incidents of data loss, take some proactive steps now -to reduce your risk and impact of identity theft later.  

Jim Malmberg Executive Director at ACCESS reports on a Florida politician's recent Social Security number exposure that points out the weaknesses within our current data breach laws;

Here are a few excerpts;

Alan West is the Republican nominee for Congress in Florida's 22nd  Congressional District. A conservative candidate and a retired Army Lt. Colonel, he is running against incumbent Ron Klein in a rematch. Klein defeated West with 54.7% of the vote. But this year's battle is slightly different. West has managed to raise millions of dollars in support of his candidacy and has battled Klein to a point where the seat is now considered a toss-up in the upcoming November election. That has the Florida Democratic Party worried. Recently, the party distributed a negative advertising mailer about West. And that mailer contained the Republican candidate's Social Security Number.

Unfortunately, West's remedies are apparently limited by Florida's data breach notification law. That law allows the state Attorney General to bring an action against a breaching party, but any such action is limited. The law is specifically designed to address large data breaches rather than incident such as this. The fines associated with the breach of a single Social Security Number would be very limited, if there were any fines at all.

Forty Six states currently have data breach notification laws on their books, but virtually all of these laws are designed to deal with large scale data breaches. It is time for the states to consider that in some cases there may be people or organizations that are willing to create a small data breach to further their own agenda. In these cases, the laws need to be written in such a way that they are both strong enough as a deterrent - including both fines and jail time - and allow those whose data is exposed to file a law suit for both actual and punitive damages. Because these are not options in this case, it needs to be pointed out that what happened here is absolutely reprehensible and the people responsible for this mailer should all be fired.

READ more here

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