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Published: Friday, 2/15/2008

UT apologizes for e-mails with personal data

University of Toledo officials sent a message last week to its nursing students apologizing for an e-mail sent before Christmas that attached personal information including the Social Security numbers and grades of about 160 students, a spokesman said yesterday.

A nursing school faculty member mistakenly attached a file that included the sensitive information to an e-mail, Jon Strunk, a UT spokesman, said.

Within the hour, the instructor realized the mistake and sent an e-mail apology, asking students to disregard and delete the e-mail. University officials retrieved about 100 e-mails that were unopened by students, but couldn't manipulate messages that already had been opened.

Formal letters from the university's administration were distributed to students during classes, Mr. Strunk said. Ohio law says a person must be notified of the improper distribution of their personal information within 45 days, he said.

Students with questions should contact the university's office of compliance.

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