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Close Call for Student Aid Info

Written by: Mikaela ConleyMarch 31, 2016

A little over 2,400 students received an email March 24 stating that on March 21 “a document containing personal information about you was inadvertently sent as an email attachment to an IPFW student … including your name, financial aid information and social security number.”

According to Dave Peterson, director of the Financial Aid Office, a staff member in the office was sending information about whether or not students were eligible for different state aid programs to another staff member when the incident occurred.

The email stated that “immediate action was taken to prevent dissemination of this information.”

According to John Kaufeld, chief communications officer, the staff member contacted Information Technology Services. ITS then contacted the student to whom all of the information was sent, and the file was deleted before the student opened the message.

Kaufeld said, “There was no hacking. No data got revealed to the outside world.”

The process is now being rethought.

“The immediate correction was to end all emailing of student personal information between staff members. Longer-term corrections will include staff training and the use of encrypted software to transfer personal information in the future,” Peterson said. “Protecting students’ personal information is driven by a variety of considerations including legal, academic, financial and other business requirements. IPFW’s policiesprovideaframeworkfor the governance and classification of university data in order to ensure the privacy and security of thatdata.”

For information about the incident or student privacy, students can contact ITS security at security@ipfw.edu.