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Stanford issues alert about stolen laptop

Stanford University is notifying 72,000 current and former employees that a laptop containing their personal data was stolen.

The university said on Friday that it’s sending emails and letters to those whose confidential data may be at risk. The laptop contained personnel records of current and former Stanford employees who were hired before Sept. 28, 2007. As many as 72,000 could be affected, but university officials said there is no evidence that any of the data on the laptop has been accessed.

The laptop was stolen recently, but Stanford said it was not disclosing additional details about the theft while it’s under investigation. Data on the system included names, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, salaries and home addresses. Stanford is working with law enforcement officials to recover the laptop.

In light of the theft, Stanford is convening a task force to review its policies and practices for protecting confidential information. “The university has guidelines that prohibit keeping sensitive information on unsecured computers. This effort will be redoubled after this incident,” Stanford Vice President for Business Affairs and CFO Randy Livingston said in a prepared statement.

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