UC Berkeley police are investigating the theft of a campus laptop computer that contained files with the names and Social Security numbers of more than 98,000 individuals, mostly graduate students or applicants to the campus's graduate school programs. The computer was stolen March 11, 2005, when an individual entered a restricted area of the Graduate Division that was momentarily unoccupied.
At this time the campus has no evidence that personal data were actually retrieved or misused. However, in accordance with state law, UC Berkeley officials are making every reasonable effort to notify by mail and e-mail all 98,369 individuals whose names and Social Security numbers were on the computer and, as a precaution, suggest they consider placing a fraud alert on their credit reporting accounts. Read the campus press release for more information on the incident.
Data files that may have been accessed include information on the following categories of people. (Note that these categories overlap, so the same individual may occur in multiple files.)
- Individuals who submitted applications for graduate school at UC Berkeley for the semesters between Fall 2001 and Spring 2004
- Graduate students who registered at UC Berkeley from Fall 1989 through Fall 2003
- Recipients of doctoral degrees from 1976 through 1999
- Other small groups who will be notified individually
Guess who falls in two of those categories?
Guess who *hasn't* been notified by Berkeley yet?
Yeah, guess I've got a few things to do tomorrow.
(How did I find out? Luckily, my graduate program is interested in problems like this, so somebody mentioned it on the alumni list. Or else I'd have no clue...granted, it's still early, so...)