Breach, Data Security

Device with sensitive data stolen from Rice University

A device containing the personal information of thousands of faculty and staff members at Rice University in Houston was recently stolen.

How many victims? 7,250.

What type of personal information? Names, addresses, birth dates, employee identification numbers, salaries and emergency contacts.

What happened? To protect victims, the Rice University Police Department is not releasing specific details about how the theft occurred.

Details: The device contained at least two sensitive files, one of which included Social Security numbers, mostly for Rice employees. The other document contained the personal information, excluding Social Security numbers, of Rice employees and students on the university payroll as of January.

To date, there is no evidence that an unauthorized person has discovered or used the data.

What was the response? Letters are being sent to affected individuals, who will be offered resources to help protect them from identity theft. Houston police are investigating the incident.

Source:, KTRK-TV Houston, “Personal info stolen from 7,250 associated with Rice U.,” Sept. 13, 2010.

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