Computers containing personal information of San Benito CISD students and staff sold at auction

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A co-owner of a Brownsville Tech Recycling Company revealed that computers sold at an auction still had personal information of students and staff at San Benito Consolidated Independent School District.

"It was over 1,000 computers sold to different buyers. I was not the only one." David Avila said.

Avila bought 700 of those computers from San Benito CISD, but he didn't know about the personal information that was still on them. Now, the district is scrambling to figure out how it happened.

Avila stated he was not concerned about the computers in his possession. There are potentially hundreds of other computers sold to other people with the personal information of students and staff.

Avila wanted to refurbish and sell the computers but, right now, he's keeping them all locked in his warehouse. He said the district did ask him if they could buy them back. The district did make a few offers, including more than triple of what Avila originally paid for those computers.

He's rejected them all so far. Avila said at the end of the day, he's not focused on the money but the severity of the situation.

"I told them we need to find a solution for this." Avila said. "I may be getting ahead of myself. You may say a teacher's curriculum, name, date of birth, address, phone number, email is not sensitive information."

Avila said he wants the district to come up with a way to make sure the next time they sell computers, that the data is removed.

When reached for comment, San Benito CISD released the following statement:

San Benito CISD previously provided public notice that a local electronics recycler, RDA Technologies, purchased computer devices from the District that may have contained historical data of the District.  When the District learned of this, it reached out to RDA Technologies in an effort to reacquire the involved devices and determine what information, if any, is contained on the devices. 

RDA has made unsubstantiated claims that the devices contained sensitive data, but to date the District has not received any evidence or credible indication that any confidential information for any student or employee was on the devices.  Based upon the representations made by RDA Technologies regarding the information alleged to have been found on the devices, it does not appear that any Social Security numbers or other sensitive personal information was included. Moreover, the District has not received any other reports of devices containing historical data.  The District was able to conduct a brief review of the equipment RDA purchased but the inspection did not reveal any confidential information.  Regardless, out of an abundance of caution, the District has continued to work with RDA Technologies regarding the matter, but RDA has not been cooperative with any of the District’s proposed solutions.

Even though the District is not in possession of information to substantiate that any confidential information was on the devices, In order to inform the public, on December 7, 2022, the District reported the incident to the Valley Morning Star and posted notice on its website, which provides information about the incident and recommendations on preventative steps that its community may consider taking. This information may be found at:


The District has also reported this matter, as well as the conduct of RDA, to the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

To help prevent something like this from happening again, the District is reviewing its procedures relating to device disposal and will re-enforce education with its staff on these procedures.

It is also important to note the following:

As the District has repeatedly stated, RDA Technologies has not afforded the same opportunity to the District to conduct an adequate review of the devices that were purchased. After RDA Technologies contacted the District claiming that the computer devices contained historical data, the District sent representatives to RDA Technologies in an effort to determine what information, if any, was contained on the devices. At that time, RDA Technologies only permitted District personnel to review two devices, neither of which contained any sensitive personal information. Moreover, the representations made directly by Mr. Avila did not include reference to any sensitive personal information being resident on the purchased devices.

Despite multiple efforts to come to a reasonable solution with RDA Technologies, the District has not been able to independently corroborate any of the allegations of the presence of sensitive personal information on these devices. Unless and until the District is able to do so and identify the specific individuals whose sensitive personal information may be involved so appropriate services can be offered to those individuals, any publicized assertion that the sensitive personal information of District employees or students would be misleading and irresponsible.


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