Ohio University Graduates Sue University after Computer Breaches

Security breach saw students' Social Security numbers possibly stolen


Two Ohio University graduates whose Social Security numbers were among 173,000 possibly stolen from school computers have filed a lawsuit, alleging their right to privacy has been violated.

Donald Jay Kulpa, 31, of Cincinnati, and Kenneth Neben, 34, a former Columbus resident now living in North Bergen, N.J., filed the lawsuit in Columbus on Friday. On the same day, the university's board of trustees agreed to spend up to $4 million to bolster computer security.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, asks a judge to order the school to pay for credit monitoring services for those affected. It also requests compensation for anyone who suffers financial losses from the breaches.

The university announced April 21 it had discovered a computer breach at its training center for fledgling businesses. Since then, electronic break-ins also were reported at the alumni office, health center and the department that handles records for businesses the university hires.

John Burns, the university's legal affairs director, said he was expecting a lawsuit but was surprised that it seeks class-action status.

A consultants' report released last week concluded that OU's Computer and Network Services division made security a low priority for more than 10 years. Also last week, the university suspended the director of Computer and Network Services and its Internet and systems manager pending a school investigation.

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On the Net:

Ohio University: http://www.ohio.edu/datatheft


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