Personal Data Exposed to Web Crawlers at Indiana University

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Feb. 26, 2014 – CNN) According to CNN, reps for Indiana University said the personal data of thousands of students and recent grads were inadvertently exposed to automated web crawling programs. A web crawler is a program that browses the internet and gathers specific types of information from web pages.

It’s been going on since last March and affects students in the IU data system from 2011 to 2014.

The files contain students’ names, addresses and Social Security numbers. They were stored in an unsecure location, making it accessible by automated data-mining applications, which are used to improve Web searches, the university said Tuesday.

In a release, the university assured no servers or systems were compromised, and the information “was not downloaded by an unauthorized individual looking for specific sensitive data.”

Reps said this was not a targeted attempt to get information for illegal purposes, and assured they have secured the data and doing a thorough investigation.

The university said it notified the Indiana attorney general’s office about the exposure Tuesday.

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