MERCED, CA — Recently, we discovered an unfortunate situation regarding student information that our outreach units store. Specifically, a computer was hacked between October 2003 and January 2004, and a laptop computer was recently stolen from a UC Merced employee. The theft of the laptop computer was immediately reported to law enforcement. Files contained on these computers included names, Social Security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers and other information for San Joaquin Valley students who had applied to UC for fall 2002 admission or who have had contact with our outreach units. Individual letters have been sent to students for whom we have addresses, notifying them of this situation. We are placing this notice to reach students whose addresses are not known.
At this time, we have no evidence that an unauthorized person saw any personal information. However, we take our obligation to safeguard personal information entrusted to us by all students we come in contact with very seriously, and therefore, we deem it necessary to bring this situation to your attention. As a courtesy, we are providing the following Web sites and telephone numbers that make available useful information on identity theft and consumer fraud:
- California Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Privacy Protection
- Federal Trade Commission
- Social Security Administration Fraud Line — 1 (800) 269-0271
- Credit Bureaus
- Equifax — 1 (800) 525-6285
- Experian — 1 (888) 397-3742
- Trans Union — 1 (800) 680-7289
UC Merced deeply regrets this possible breach of confidentiality. Please be assured that we will continue to take the necessary steps to safeguard students' personal information. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the UC Merced Information Technology Hotline at (209) 228-2916.