Breach, Compliance Management, Data Security, Privacy

Alums file class action against UCF for PII exposure during breach

A recent data breach at the University of Central Florida (UCF) that exposed information on tens of thousands has spawned a consumer class action lawsuit against the school by two alumni.

Anthony Furbush and Logan Berkowitz claimed in court documents filed in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida that the university did not take the proper steps to protect its systems or data on students and employees, violating, too, Florida's Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). And the suit took issue with what the plaintiffs claimed was a delay in notification. The school knew about the compromise in December 2015, the pair said, but didn't publicly acknowledge it until Feb. 4.

UCF has said that the Social Security numbers of 63,000 current and former students were illegally accessed. Based on its internal findings, those affected appear to be student-athletes and UCF teams' student support staff and/or student and faculty employees categorized as OPS, or Other Personal Services, including students enrolled in a work-study program, graduate assistants, housing resident assistants, student government leaders, adjunct faculty instructors and select faculty members. Berkowitz is a former president of the school's SGA.

The plaintiffs have suffered irreparable damage and will continue to suffer irreparable damage from the misuse of the PII,” the suit read, noting that their PII has been compromised, “their privacy invaded, have incurred or will incur out-of-pocket costs, and have otherwise suffered economic damages.”

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