Personal information about University of Oklahoma students was left accessible to anyone with an ou.edu email account “due to a misunderstanding of privacy settings,” an OU official said Wednesday.”While there was no outside breach of our files, we understand and acknowledge concerns about the vulnerability of sensitive data,” said Matt Hamilton, OU vice president for enrollment and student financial services. “We rectified the situation immediately and can assure students that their FERPA-protected files are secure.”

FERPA refers to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

The data that was accessible involved both current and former students, Hamilton said.

He said no unauthorized party accessed the files other than Dana Branham, editor-in-chief of The OU Daily, which published a story about the availability of the records Tuesday.

“I am thankful that it was the OU Daily reporters who discovered that the information was accessible to unauthorized users within the OU system. That enabled OU IT to turn off the Delve tool so that other unauthorized users couldn’t access the information,” Hamilton said.

The service currently is not available to any OU user, he said.

Hamilton said he learned about the situation Tuesday afternoon and notified the information technology staff.

Rather, some sensitive files were inadvertently made accessible to OU account holders due to a misunderstanding of privacy settings,” he said.The security of students’ personal information is a high priority, Hamilton said.

The service currently is not available to any OU user, he said.

Hamilton said he learned about the situation Tuesday afternoon and notified the information technology staff.

“Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate our privacy measures to ensure absolute protection of personal data.”

Source: http://newsok.com/article/5552890

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