Laptops With Student SSNs Stolen

Pair of laptops owned by subcontractor working with Illinois State Board of Education swiped from van earlier this month

By Michael Iliopoulos
|  Friday, Jun 17, 2011  |  Updated 9:05 PM CDT
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Two laptops that contained the personal information of hundreds of special education students and their teachers had been stolen from an employee of a state contractor, officials said Friday.

Aurora resident Joy Smith was surprised when she received a letter from the Harrisburg Project, a data storage subcontractor who works with the Illinois State Board of Education. The letter stated that two laptops had been stolen from a van being used by the company’s employees on June 8.

"I don’t keep his personal information on my own laptop, so I don’t feel like this information was safe," Smith said.

ISBE spokesperson Matt Vanover confirmed that two laptops were missing. He said that Social Security Numbers, student ID numbers and teaching certificate numbers were stored on the laptops.

According to district officials, 1,800 West Aurora students had information on those laptops.

Harrisburg Project followed all the correct protocol after the computers went missing, according to Vanover.

District officials are still trying to find out how many staff members also had personal information on the laptops.

An investigation is underway.

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