UCF alumni Logan Berkowitz and Anthony Furbush have issued a class action lawsuit against the university because of the recent data breach involving 63,000 Social Security numbers.
The plaintiffs claim that UCF did not protect its employee and student information, nor inform them that their data had been compromised in a timely manner. Berkowitz, a former SGA president, claims that UCF knew about the data breach as early as December 2015, but failed to announce the hack publicly until Feb. 4. The lawsuit also claims that UCF violated the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, also known as FERPA, which requires certain schools to protect the privacy of student education records.
In an email sent out on Feb. 4, President John C. Hitt said that the safeguarding of personal information is extremely important to UCF. He called for a review of university's online systems and policies to determine what improvements could be made.
Hitt said the investigation into the hack showed that no credit card information, financial records, medical records, or grades were stolen — just 63,000 Social Security numbers.
According to the Social Security Association's website, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. The site states that anyone with your social security number can use it to find out other personal information about you, open bank accounts and apply for credit cards and often, you won't notice until you start getting calls from collection agencies.
UCF has a call center focused on helping those whose data has been compromised. They can be reached at 877-752-5527. For more information from UCF regarding the data breach and tips on how to handle the situation, please visit www.ucf.edu/datasecurity.
We've reached out to UCF and the plaintiffs for more information. This is a developing story, please check back for updates.
Alissa Smith is the News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @thealissasmith or email her at AlissaS@centralfloridafuture.com.