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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Data loss inquiry continues

Three weeks after announcing that a USB flash drive containing the personal information of roughly 1,800 current and former University students had gone missing, University officials are still investigating the incident and looking for ways to prevent a similar data loss from happening again.

On June 27, the department of marketing and communications announced that a flash drive, used by accounting professor David Albrecht to store grade information dating back to 1992, had gone missing.

The memory device contained the names, grades and University ID numbers for about 1,600 students and alumni, as well as Social Security numbers for 199 students from the class of 1992. That was the last year the University used Social Security numbers to identify students before switching over to the P00 # system.

The flash drive has not yet been recovered, according to Media Relations Director Teri Sharp. There has been no evidence that information on the flash drive has been used for fraudulent purposes.

Albrecht informed officials about the missing flash drive on May 30 – three weeks after realizing it was gone.

It was nearly a month later that the University announced the flash drive had gone missing, posting a banner on the Web site, e-mailing the entire student population and mailing letters to all those whose information was on the memory device.

The reason the University waited nearly a month before informing students was so Information Technology Services could determine what information was on the drive, track down contact information for all affected alumni and students and set up an informational phone line.

During that time, the University also made arrangements with the ID security firm Life Lock, to offer a year of service to the alumni whose Social Security numbers where on the drive. As of yet, none of the affected alumni have taken the University up on this offer.

Sharp pointed out that Ohio House Bill 104 allows the University and other state government agencies 45 days before having to go public about the loss of sensitive information.

Albrecht refused to comment on why he waited so long to inform the University that the flash drive had gone missing in the first place, even though he is certain where and when it was taken.

The accounting professor said he was proctoring a make-up exam on May 3 for a couple dozen students. He left the flash drive out in the open during the test while he worked on grading. At the end of the exam period he realized the memory device was gone.

Albrecht is positive that one of the students taking the exam stole the device, but said he is frustrated at the University labeling the device lost instead of stolen.

“I disagree that I caused the incident,” Albrecht said.

According to a press release, the University’s Chief Information Officer, Bruce Petryshak, said, “We don’t believe the flash drive was stolen. It may have been misplaced, lost or destroyed, but we don’t know for sure.”

Sharp said that unless there is evidence that the information has been misused Albrecht’s claims are merely speculation.

Albrecht said he deeply regretted that the data was lost but insisted he was not careless.

He said he took precautions with the data but suggested ways the University could better help professors and instructors protect information.

Albrecht complained the University does not help faculty cover the cost of encryption software and suggested that they could create a central storage for all grade files.

Ironically, in a newsletter issue in May from the ITS department, Information Security Analyst Thomas Roberts suggested that professors use encryption software on portable memory devices.

While ITS and University’s General Counsel’s office are still investigating the incident they are not releasing any information about any administrative actions that may be taken against Albrecht.

But Albrecht himself feels he is being unfairly blamed for the situation and that his job is in jeopardy.

“I feel like the criminal in all this, when at first I felt like one of the victims,” he said.

Albrecht said that as a result of the investigation he has been denied access to all intellectual property. Meaning that he currently has no access to any research projects or any University documents or data.

Officials in the ITS and General Counsel’s offices could not be reached for comment about these claims.

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