Breach exposed Dallas student, parent, teacher personal data

DALLAS (AP) — A data breach at the Dallas public school system earlier this month exposed the personal information of students, parents, teachers and staff dating to 2010, system officials revealed Thursday.

In statements posted to its website Thursday, the Dallas Independent School District said it learned of the breach on Aug. 8. Since then, the district says it has been investigating and working to contain the exposure before making it public.

According to the website statements, an unauthorized third party downloaded the data and stored it temporarily on an encrypted cloud storage site. Social Security numbers, birth dates, contact information and grades were among the data exposed.

The district said it had not received any reports of fraud or identity theft due to the data breach. It planned to open a hotline Friday to answer questions of those affected and help them set up credit monitoring.

The district is the second-largest in Texas, ranking behind only the Houston Independent School District. The Dallas district employs 22,222 staff members and enrolled 153,861 students in 230 schools, according to its website.

The breach was the latest information technology breakdown reported by a Dallas governmental entity. Dallas County prosecutors learned recently that a city information technician inadvertently deleted 22 terabytes of crime data.

Technicians recovered 14 terabytes. At first, that left officials with about 7.5 terabytes likely lost forever. However, an audit found an additional 15 terabytes of police data missing.

According to a police department statement, the lost data included images, video, audio, case notes and other information gathered by police officers and detectives. A city IT employee was migrating the files, which had not been accessed for the previous six to 18 months, from an online, cloud-based archive to a server at the city’s data center. The city ultimately fired the employee.

At least one murder trial has been postponed indefinitely and the suspect was released on bond because of lost data.

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