Park Hill district reports data security breach

The Associated PressJuly 9, 2014 

— A suburban Kansas City school district said it has warned more than 10,000 current and former employees and students that their personal information may have been compromised by a data security breach earlier this year.

The Park Hill School District announced Tuesday that the compromised information included Social Security numbers, student records, personnel information and employee evaluations. The records of 6,900 students were compromised, and the other records contained sensitive information about former and current employees.

No evidence has been found that the data has been misused since the problem was discovered in April, Superintendent Scott Springston said.

The breach occurred in January and February when a worker, without permission, downloaded student and staff records from a district computer onto a hard drive. The worker, who left the district a short time later, connected the hard drive to a home computer, making the information accessible online, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1oGUdLP ).

The district didn't learn about the breach until April 1 when it was contacted by a resident who had called up the data with a Google search. Access to the records was blocked on April 5.

The district did not release information about the breach until it identified those directly affected, spokeswoman Nicole Kirby said. Letters to the 10,210 people affected were sent out Monday and Tuesday.

Springston said he did not know what the former employee planned to do with the information but district officials don't think the person had any criminal intent. He would not identify the worker or say why he or she left the district.

The district is updating its policies on taking or downloading personnel data and student records and is providing free identity monitoring services to those affected by the breach.

"We are developing our policies to make sure that this type of data breach doesn't happen again in the future," Springston said.

Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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