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Data breach prompts lawsuit against Oakwood University

A class-action lawsuit related to a data security breach has been filed against Oakwood University, a private Seventh-Day Adventist university in Huntsville.

The 32-page suit, filed in the state of California, claims Oakwood officials were responsible for a large data breach in March that could have been prevented. That breach potentially allowed hackers access to Social Security information, driver’s license information, and financial information of students and employees.

The lawsuit can be viewed here.

According to the suit, Oakwood’s negligence is “exacerbated by repeated warnings and alerts directed to protecting and securing sensitive data, as evidenced by the trending data breach attacks in recent years.”

The legal filing also said the school’s failure to use “reasonable and appropriate” security measures fell short of the standard set by the Federal Trade Commission Act.

The university posted information about the incident on its website and also sent letters to students with an official statement from the school. Oakwood University did not respond to questions for comment on the suit.

However, the suit claims the university was not quick enough to alert them about the possibility of the breach.

“All I can say is that it took seven months to send the information to my client,” attorney Steve Cole said. “One certainly has to wonder if not more, how bad their cybersecurity information keeping practices really are.”

According to ClassAction.org, the lawsuit represents anyone in the U.S. whose personally identifiable information and/or financial information was exposed to unauthorized third parties as a result of the breach.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer with Yellowhammer News.

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