Company Offers To Sell Computers Back To San Benito Schools

Company Offers To Sell Computers Back To San Benito Schools

An online auction in the San Benito School District has sold thousands of computers and tablets, some containing personal information of employees and students, a computer store owner said Wednesday.

David Avila, co-owner of Brownsville-based RDA Technologies, said records from South Texas Auction show the district sold more than 2,000 computers and 1,500 tablets during an online auction on July 23.

Avila said she purchased about 700 computers in the district before finding at least 11 hard drives containing district data, including staff and student names, phone numbers and addresses, student grades and some bank account information.

He said that of the 11 computers on which he found personal information, one was destroyed.

He's now offering to sell his unchecked District 10 and 503 for $99,579.04, depending on the make and model of the computer.

"They asked me to sell them the team," he said. "They insist on making an offer. If they want to buy our shares, they can buy them. We don't sue, you ask the price."

But he said about 200 of the computers he upgraded after inspections found that district information had not been sold to districts, adding that because school districts hire your company to clean the hard drives on your computers, administrators can rely on their own inspections. to destroy it.

"We have a good reputation and that speaks for itself," Avila said. "Why do people trust us to destroy data?"

Corporate offers

During talks with the district that lasted about three months, Avila said officials offered him $138,619 to buy a computer that he bought for $29,000, a dispute between district officials.

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For his part, Avila said he turned down the offer because he did not want to sign the confidentiality clause that was part of the deal.

"We sell only if there is no non-disclosure agreement," he said. "We don't want to get involved in hiding the truth."

computer buyer

Meanwhile, a Utah woman said her husband also bought the district's computers at auction, before discovering that the district had failed to erase at least one computer hard drive.

"So far we can only see one of the computers and the hard drive has not been erased," she said in a private message on Facebook.

On-site inspection

Earlier this month, the Valley Morning Star checked a computer in Avila's office, chosen by Avila, and found the teacher's bank account number; bank account numbers for some teachers; List teachers by name, username, and email; Student name, registration number, and grade. List of failing students, including names; List of immigrant students, including name, student identification number, and grade level; and the IP and MAC numbers of copiers and printers in the area.

Discuss the contract proposal

On Friday, Inspector Teresa Cervillon posted a statement on the district's website saying Avila offered to sign a contract saying she would erase the computer's hard drive while signing a non-disclosure agreement.

On Wednesday, Avila turned down an offer to sign such a deal.

Avila said that during an Oct. 31 meeting with Servellon and District Technology Director Todd English, the terms of that agreement were "mentioned."

"It was mentioned," he said. "We mention the types of services we offer, but we never offer them as a solution."

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Area data request

Last month, district officials issued a statement for the first time to update the public on PC sales.

“The San Benito CISD Center publicly announced that a local electronics recycling company, RDA Technologies, has purchased area computers that may contain historical data for the area,” Cervillon said Friday. “Once the district became aware of this, it contacted RDA Technologies to reset the affected device and determine what information, if any, was on the device.”

“Over several weeks, Mr. Avila has repeatedly refused to provide the district with further details about the information allegedly contained in the device purchased, after which the district attempts to recover the laptop and CPU to perform its own analysis,” he said.

"Despite numerous attempts to reach a reasonable settlement with RDA Technologies, the District has been unable to substantiate the allegation of sensitive personal information on this device," it said.

“Unless the District is able to perform a comprehensive analysis of equipment purchased from RDA Technologies and to be able to identify specific individuals whose sensitive personal information may be affected in order to provide appropriate services to those individuals, any public display of District Personal Equipment information is required if it is an “employee or A sensitive student, he's misguided and irresponsible," Cervillon said.

The county also reported the matter, along with RDA Technologies management, to the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General's Office.

Avila: The company offers check-ups

Meanwhile, Avila said he has given county officials the ability to search computers.

He said English checked a computer in the company's office on Oct. 28.

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“At that time, RDA Technologies only allowed district personnel to briefly scan two devices, neither of which contained sensitive personal information,” Cervillon said. Furthermore, Mr. Avila's personal data contains no indication of sensitive personal information contained in the device purchased.

Avila said he gave officers the opportunity to check the computers on January 11.

© 2023 Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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