The Social Security numbers, grades and other personal information of more than 40,000 former University of Hawaii students were posted online for nearly a year before being removed this week.
University officials said that a faculty member inadvertently uploaded files containing the information to an unprotected server on Nov. 30.
That exposed the names, academic performance, disabilities and other sensitive data of 40,101 students who attended the flagship Manoa campus from 1990 to 1998 and in 2001. A handful of students from the West Oahu campus were included in the security breach.
UH-West Oahu spokesman Ryan Mielke said there was no evidence the faculty member acted maliciously or that any of the information was used improperly. The faculty member, who retired from the West Oahu campus in June, was conducting a study of the success rates of Manoa students, and believed he was accessing a secure server.
The university apologized for the incident, saying it was investigating how it happened. It was notifying the former students by e-mail and letters, and has also alerted the FBI and Honolulu police.