25 Aug 2011

Yale Accidentally Exposes 43,000 Social Security Numbers to Search Engine Access

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Liberals, as we all know, basically believe we ought to abolish democracy immediately, and just turn running the entire world over to the kind of morally superior, highly educated, and totally enlightened beings who run Ivy League universities.

IvyGate, however, finds that the omniscient wisdom of Yale, for instance, is not all that it might be, even in the fairly obvious matter of routine identity theft prevention.

Remember that time when you first matriculated? And Yale was all like, “Hey guys, no big deal, but we’re going to need all of your personal information. Yeah, that Social Security number? Fork it over. Don’t worry, though. We’re world-class academics. We know not to do anything stupid with it, like make it available on Google, or whatever.”

Yeah, well, turns out Yale was wrong.

The university announced on Friday that around 43,000 Social Security numbers — belonging to current and former students, faculty, staff and alumni – were released into the Google ether at some juncture in the past, apparently by force of sheer incompetence innocent mistake.

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Not to mention the Class of ’70 posture photos that they put into a dumpster behind Payne Whitney.


Way back in 2000, I attended Johns Hopkins school of professional studies, in IT as it happens. Before classes even started I noticed that if you used their faculty search, the search URL returned the SSNs. I showed my instructor and the problem at least didn’t show up in the URL anymore. I questioned the expense I was incurring for IT training from a school exhibiting so little IT security awareness.


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