Class-action suit filed against UH over data breaches
By: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, by Gene Park
The University of Hawaii is now the target of a class-action lawsuit filed today, as a result of recent data breaches.
The main plaintiff in the case, Philippe Gross, was a student at the Manoa campus from 1990 through 1998. He said four other names have been attached to his social security number, and that his credit card has been used in Georgia.
Since 2005, the University of Hawaii has been responsible for 259,000 private records being released. In the latest instance, the personal information of more than 40,000 students were uploaded to the Internet by a faculty member at the UH-West Oahu campus.
The lawsuit alleges that Gross was affected by that breach, as well as a June 2009 breach that affected everyone who had done business at the Manoa campus parking office.
"The university has exhibited both a cavalier and callous attitude toward protecting privacy rights," said Thomas Grande, one of the attorneys for the class. "The university has clearly not taken its privacy responsibilities seriously. And once the security breaches have occurred, the university has left it to the victims of the breach to take actions to protect themselves."
UH officials have said they recognize that improvements are necessary, and that "resources must be reallocated to improve IT security."