Students' personal information posted online

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Associated Press

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 12:00 AM

HARTFORD, Ky. (AP) — Up to 200 recipients of a western Kentucky scholarship are finding out that their personal information was posted online without their knowledge.

The Messenger-Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1fjI38s) reports the Ohio County Board of Education, which is the trustee for the Glen Frieda and John Wells Education Scholarship, issued letters to former students who were affected.

The letter says the breach was made by the New York-based Foundation Center, which is used as a database for agencies seeking grants. The personal information included Social Security numbers, addresses and phone numbers on tax records for students from 2009-2011.

Brian Decker, the board of education's chief financial officer, says a parent found the information and brought it to his attention and he asked the Foundation Center to redact it.

Foundation Center spokeswoman Cheryl Loe said the posting was inadvertent and the agency immediately removed sensitive information after learning it was posted.

"When the Foundation Center receives these digital documents from the IRS, it makes every effort to mask any sensitive information that hasn't already been redacted by the IRS before posting forms on its website.

"... In the case of the Glen Frieda and John Wells Education Fund, as soon as we were alerted by Brian Decker, the paid preparer, that scholarship recipients' Social Security numbers were exposed on its Forms 990 (2009-2011), we removed the sensitive information from the posted forms."

Decker says he recommended those affected ask for a free credit report to make sure their personal information hasn't been compromised.

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Information from: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, http://www.messenger-inquirer.com

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