Purdue University officials have admitted a mistaken e-mail from a financial aid official led to thousands of prospective student Social Security numbers being shared. Now, the school is preparing to notify those affected and pay to clean up the mistake.
More than 26,000 prospective Purdue students’ personal data was shared on May 17 when an Excel file was sent to one family considering sending their child to Purdue.
“What they intended to send was a pamphlet or a brochure related to a financial aid program," Purdue Assistant Legal Counsel Trent Klingerman says. "What they sent instead was the file.”
Klingerman says all the affected families will be receiving a letter in the next few days offering them a year of credit monitoring.
It’ll be free to the families, but it’s not yet clear how much the snafu will cost Purdue.
Klingerman says he believes the employee who exposed the personal data is still employed by the school.