So, the other day I received an email from the University of Texas, saying that they have published a lot of private information online – publicly. Supposedly they found it and removed it all, already. Below is the email I received from Jan Todd (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Information Security Office at The University of Texas at Austin has confirmed that unauthorized information was inadvertently posted to a public web server used by the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports. The Stark Center is a sport library and archive located in the North End Zone of the stadium and is officially part of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education in the College of Education. The information in question is part of a University of Texas at Austin archival collection created by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Media Relations staff, and was created as a way to record the history of UT Athletics. In that archival collection (which has now been digitized as part of a preservation process for UT records) were documents that contained names; campus and/or home addresses during those years; telephone numbers at that time; and Social Security numbers, which were routinely used by the University for record keeping during this era. This was discovered when one of the persons whose names appeared in the archival collection inadvertently found it by searching for her name on Google; she immediately contacted UT Athletics who notified us and the files were removed immediately. Based on our tracking information we do not believe at this time that anyone other than the woman who initiated the search has seen the documents.
The entire digital archive has now been deleted from the web. However, in accordance with the Texas Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act, we wanted to notify you of the situation and let you know that The University of Texas at Austin will be providing those affected by this with identity theft protection services for a two-year period. To take advantage of the identity theft protection, please contact me by return email and we will send to you the correct contact information for the theft protection service.
I also wanted to let you know that the UT web has additional information on personal identity protection and monitoring at: https://www.utexas.edu/datatheft/resources.html. Please know that the University is doing everything it can to ensure the security of any personal information it maintains.
I am very sorry about this inadvertent breach of your private information and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about this matter. I’ve provided below both my office and personal cell phone and my email. Also provided below are the numbers and email of our digital archivist, Brent Sipes, who will also be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Again, please accept our deepest apologies.
Jan Todd, Ph.D.
Professor & Roy J. McLean Fellow in Sport History
Director, H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports
Department of Kinesiology & Health Education
403 E. 23rd Street, NEZ 5.700
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas 78712
512-694-6237 (cell); 512-471-0993 (office)
After receiving this, I immediately sent them a reply back requesting more information. Below is the reply I recieved from Brent Sipes (email@example.com).
Thank you for your reply. I have confirmed that your information has NOT been posted.
I apologize for the confusion. Many of the records disclosed were 30 years old or older. In striving to notify those affected, false positives and erroneous contact records–as in the one that misled me to contact you–are a regrettable but inevitable reality.
Once again, I would like to confirm that your information was NOT released as a part of this breach.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports
University of Texas at Austin
My concern is that they would send out this information, and then claim that it is inaccurate. To me it sounds like they are trying to cover their tracks. Forgive me; but, I do not trust anyone at that institution, after their CLEE department has repeatedly tried to swindle me out of tuition for classes that I was forced to drop due to their crazed, dangerous, and extremely unprofessional security guards.
I honestly wonder how many other people they have tried to lie to, con, and steal from. hmmm…