Not just football woes: Univ. of Mich. loses backup tapes

September 19, 2007
Where did the breach take place? University of Michigan's School of Nursing in Ann Arbor.

How many victims? More than 8,000 current and former patients of two clinics affiliated with the university.

What happened? Computer tapes containing personal information were stolen from a locked box in an administrative office in the School of Nursing.

What kind of personal information? Names, addresses, medical information used in billing and Social Security numbers.

What was the response? The university is notifying victims in letters, and campus police are investigating. The college - which has made headlines of late after a shocking loss to Appalachian State in the football season's opening week - is also encouraging departments to delete unnecessary data.

Details: The tapes can only be read using specialized equipment. This is the third recent data breach to affect the university. In July, hackers gained access to the personal information sitting on a School of Education server of some 5,500 people. Last November, thieves hijacked a server in the College of Engineering's Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Department, exposing some 1,300 employee identities.

Quote: "We are very protective of patient records and have a very secure environment, so it's very unfortunate and certainly unusual." - Kallie Michels, spokeswoman for the university health system.

Source: "Nursing school data theft latest at U-M," Sept. 14, The Ann Arbor News.
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