Almost a half million people have been victims of data breaches in Hawaii

In its Report on Hawaii Personal Information Breaches: Part 1, the Washington, DC-based Liberty Coalition said that the University of Hawaii is responsible for 54% of the data breaches in the state, more than all other Hawaii organizations combined.

The report was prepared for Hawaii State Senator Mike Gabbard in response to the recent data breach at the university. In that incident, a faculty member accidentally uploaded the Social Security numbers, grades, and other personal information of more than 40,000 former students to an unsecured website.

The Liberty Coalition gave the University of Hawaii a grade of “F” for privacy and data security, noting that the school has demonstrated a “pattern of breaches and unfulfilled promises”.

The report said that businesses and academic institutions in Hawaii do not have adequate market incentives to prevent data breaches. It noted that Hawaii’s breach law implies that corporations can “own” personal information.

“Breach notifications are vague and fail to empower victims. Victims cannot know which breach caused identity fraud, cannot hold organizations accountable, or protect themselves”, the coalition warned.

The Liberty Coalition is preparing a second part to the report, which will focus on legislative solutions to the state’s data breach problem. This is expected to be issued in January next year.

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