Former U. of Iowa TA’s laptop stolen; contains personal information of 184 students, graduates

The University of Iowa is warning 184 students and graduates that grade information and Social Security numbers were on a laptop stolen from a former teaching assistant.

What happened? The laptop was stolen last month from the Arizona home of a former teaching assistant.

What types of personal information? The laptop contains class records, including attendance, test scores and grades of 184 students who took courses between 2002 and 2006.

The Social Security numbers of 100 students are also on the laptop.

What was the response? David Stern, philosophy department chairman, is mailing letters to affected students and accepting phone calls from those who are concerned about the incident.

Details: Theft occurred the weekend of Sept. 15-16.

Affected personnel took classes in “Philosophy and Human Nature,” “Philosophy and the Just Society” and “Principles of Reasoning,” taught by Tuomas Manninen.

Quote: “The instructor buried the files in his directory structure and obfuscated the Social Security numbers,” said Jane Drews, university information security officer. “While they were not encrypted, popular SSN scanning tools were unable to detect SSNs in any of the five files.”

Source: (The Des Moines Register), Oct. 8, “Stolen laptop has U of I student data

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