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Stolen PC had student SSNs

Helen Schamrai
Issue date: 1/23/07 Section: News

Computer owners at Rutgers-Newark now have more to worry about than just and busted hardware.

Gabriela Kutting, associate professor of political science, reported her laptop stolen to Rutgers police Sept. 5, 2006. The laptop contained the social security numbers of 200 R-N students. The computer was taken from her office in Hill Hall despite having locked her door, Kutting said.

Kutting’s laptop is one of five incidents of computer theft reported so far this academic year. [see graphic for other incidents] No reports of stolen personal information were made to the police in past incidences, except in Kutting’s case; the computer stored her own , and also student-sensitive information, including their personal identification numbers, police said.

Kutting said she had the social security numbers on the laptop because she used the information to report students’ grades at the end of each semester. However, since Rutgers University began using the RUID in place of the , the stolen computer only had information of students from past years.

There have not been any reports of identity theft from any of the students in Kutting’s class, said Det. Lt. Bradley Morgan.

In October 2006, the laptop of a graduate student in Smith Hall was stolen from her locked office as well.

“If these were isolated incidences, then we were both unlucky. If these things occur regularly, then I think there needs to be more widespread knowledge and a policy … on

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