State of Florida’s Unclaimed Property Website Breach
The University’s Privacy Office was notified on January 18, 2012 of a privacy breach which occurred on July 29, 2005, and was discovered January 12, 2012. Specifically, the University of Florida provided mandatory information to Florida’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property, managed by the Florida State Department of Financial Services. Included in the submitted information were Social Security Numbers (SSNs), which were inappropriately posted and accessible on the Unclaimed Property website. As a result, 719 unauthorized disclosures of SSNs occurred. The posted “restricted data” was taken down by Florida’s Department of Financial Services on January 12, 2012.
The unclaimed property could have been an overpayment to UF, a financial aid refund, a parking fine refund or other similarly unclaimed monies and may have belonged to both students and non-students. The state agency has confirmed that there are no other instances of restricted data disclosures. The University also checked information from other submitted annual reports and confirmed that no other restricted data was inappropriately disclosed. The University will follow up after submission of future reports to verify that the information has been entered correctly on the state’s website.