Minn. firm that lost data now handling California student loans

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It's safe with us


If you've read the news about the Oakdale firm that's now handling California student loan accounts, the name of the company -- Educational Credit Management Corporation -- might sound familiar.

Before you keep reading ...

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That's because it made the news in March after someone stole personal data -- including Social Security numbers -- from 3.3 million accounts stored with the nonprofit company.

It was apparently the largest-ever breach of its kind, involving an estimated 5 percent of all federal student-loan borrowers.

The stolen data, stored on about 650 disks, soon turned up in a Minneapolis police evidence room. The disks had been in safes stolen from the company but then recovered by police. According to a KARE 11 report:

Police were called to pick up the safes, each weighing 200 pounds, by a resident who found them at the end of a driveway in north Minneapolis, police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Garcia said. The safes had been pried open and empty, but police checked a trash can across the alley and discovered several hundred discs, Garcia said. Officers were not aware of the weekend theft of the safes, Garcia said. ... Police at first tried to read the discs but were unable to crack them, Garcia said. "The main thing is it (the data) sat in our property room, secure," he said.

The police said it appeared no one had actually gotten into the data, so it had not been compromised.

In any case: Don't worry, California. Your personal info will be in good hands.