Independent inquiry into data breach

The university has said there will be an inquiry into the erroneous emailing of students’ personal information to fellow undergraduates.

Concrete were first to report that some three hundred American Studies students were mistakenly emailed information relating to extenuating circumstances.

UEA’s Vice-Chancellor David Richardson said, in an email to all students, an independent inquiry will commence “shortly.”

The inquiry will be carried out by the university’s auditors, PWC, with an aim of completion by the end of July.

Prof Richardson said the inquiry would seek to ensure that the incident “cannot be repeated.”

He said: “The inquiry will extend beyond the specific incident itself and cover areas such as the institution’s systems, culture and management.”

In a statement, the SU listed students’ questions relating to the incident and to the university’s data storage system more broadly.

These include: “Why are personal details of this sort ever stored on excel sheets?

“If they have to be why are they not at the very least password protected?

“What will be done to ensure there isn’t a repeat other than more training for staff? Are there some systems that could prevent this from happening?”

The SU published a letter, including the aforementioned questions, sent to the university, in which they state they “hope we can all work together to provide the affected students with appropriate answers.”

Prof Richardson said the conclusions of the break’s investigation will ideally be in place “by the beginning of the 2017/18 academic year.”


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October 2021
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