Thursday, November 18, 2010
Class action suit filed against University of Hawaii personal information breaches
by Larry Geller
Attorneys Tom Grande and Bruce Sherman filed a class action lawsuit today on behalf of Philippe Gross, a student at UH Manoa who alleges that he was affected by both a June 2009 UH privacy breach affecting 50,000 individuals as well as an October 2010 privacy breach affecting 40,000 individuals.
According to the complaint:
This is the fourth security breach by the University of Hawai`i in the last eighteen months. In June 2010, a hacker penetrated an unsecured server with names, social security numbers and credit card numbers for 53,821 UH students, guests, and alumni. In February 2010, 35 names and credit card numbers were made available on a public computer at the Pacific Aviation Training Center (PATC) at Honolulu Community College. In April 2009, the UH system breached another 15,487 names and social security numbers (hereafter "SSN") of students who applied for financial aid at Kapi`olani Community College, along with their parents' personal information, when a server became infected with malware.
The complaint describes the objectives of the suit:
This class action seeks an injunction: (a) forbidding UH from violating the constitutional rights of its students, faculty and guests, as protected by the right to privacy of the United States and Hawai`i Constitutions by the unauthorized released of private information, including but not limited to SSN and (b) mandating that the University of Hawai`i take appropriate measures to ensure the protection of private information within its possession.
4. This class action complaint also seeks monetary damages to compensate class members for expenses including but not limited to enrollment in credit report monitoring program(s), time spent in monitoring credit reports, credit card and bank statements, and identity theft insurance.
Was your personal data part of the recent security breach? Check by visiting NationalIDWatch.org and enter your name to see if it was among those breached by UH. You may be a member of the class.
Below is an unofficial copy of the complaint. It may contain OCR errors. Do not rely on this copy. It’s easier to read if you click “Fullscreen” on the top line.