Do you recall that little data breach that Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) had a couple of weeks ago?   That "theft" of data that included names, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers of some 3.3 million individual student loan borrowers was big news in data breach circles.  We reported about it here.

Well, hope springs eternal as I was pinged today by ECMC’s PR firm letting me know that the storage medium was recovered and "law enforcement officials" do not believe that the personal information was compromised.  (Savvy move, Weber Shandwick.)

I hope, for the sake of the borrowers if nothing else, that none of the information was accessed.  I also hope that experts can determine that nobody accessed information (which probably can be done if we are talking about a thumb drive or hard drive, probably much less likely if we are taking about a DVD, fingerprints notwithstanding).

Maybe some encryption firm is making a lot of money from ECMC as we speak and that Congress is noticing this apparent dodged bullet and will use it to advance a toothy, federal breach notification law. 

The full press release is available if you click Continue Reading below.

The statement below is in response to a news release issued on 4/16/10 by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Statement of Richard Boyle, ECMC GROUP President & CEO

ECMC and its employees want to express its gratitude to the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force, who in cooperation with the Oakdale Police Department, and with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General for bringing about this positive outcome.  We were very pleased to learn yesterday that the property and data stolen from ECMC headquarters has been recovered and that law enforcement officials believe that the personally identifiable information of our 3.3 million federal student loan borrowers does not appear to have been compromised.
We are working closely with U.S. Department of Education to notify our borrowers, partners and industry about this latest development.
We remain vigilant to the needs and concerns of our borrowers, and continue to encourage borrowers who were notified by us of this incident to take advantage of the free credit monitoring and fraud protection package we are providing them through Experian.  The letter to affected borrowers included information about how to activate this service. 

All of us at ECMC are delighted by this news and hope that it provides some comfort to affected borrowers.  We will continue to post updates to our website,, as additional information becomes available.