Texas Loan Contractor Loses 1.3M Student Records
ROUND ROCK, Texas – Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corp. released the following statement June 1 regarding the loss of equipment containing 1.3 million records of student borrowers by a third-party loan contractor:
TG announced today that an employee of Hummingbird, a company TG engaged to prepare a document management system, has lost a piece of equipment that contains the names and Social Security numbers of a portion of TG’s borrowers.
The loss occurred on May 24, 2006. TG was notified of the loss by Hummingbird mid-afternoon Friday, May 26, 2006.
Sue McMillin, TG’s president and CEO, said, “TG takes the protection of non-public personal information very seriously. TG has internal policies and procedures to protect non-public personal information from unauthorized disclosure. All TG’s internal policies and procedures, including those for the transmission and use of sensitive information, were followed. Even though this information is not easily accessed and used, and even though the loss appears to be inadvertent, we are issuing this release out of an abundance of caution, because the piece of equipment has not been located. No personally identifiable information other than names and Social Security numbers were included on the piece of equipment.”
TG has devoted necessary resources over the Memorial Day weekend to identify the names and Social Security numbers contained on the lost piece of equipment. It is estimated that approximately 1.3 million borrowers may be affected.
Extensive investigation of this incident over the course of the weekend revealed that in January 2006, TG had prepared a series of files containing name and Social Security number information for use by Hummingbird. TG prepared the files for transmission by encrypting the files, protecting them with a password, and sending them to a secure site via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for retrieval by Hummingbird. Hummingbird indicated that one of its employees then downloaded the files, decrypted them, and stored them on the piece of equipment that was subsequently lost. Hummingbird also reported that the piece of equipment was password protected.
TG is providing information on its Web site [www.tgslc.org/resources/customerdata.cfm] to help those potentially affected by this incident. Letters will be mailed to individuals who were directly affected, with information about their records and recommendations on how to protect themselves from identity theft. In its communications, TG will not request personal information electronically. TG cautions that if people receive E-mail, they should make sure the E-mail comes from TG before disclosing personal information.
As long as necessary, a toll-free information call center will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT at (800) 530-0626. Individuals may contact any of the following three major credit reporting agencies for more information about protecting their credit:
- Equifax: (800) 525-6285; www.equifax.com
- Experian: (888) 397-3742; www.experian.com
- TransUnion: (800) 680-7289; www.transunion.com
TG will release updates to affected parties and the news media as further information develops.
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