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New leak of UCPH students' confidential information

For the second time in six months, the English department leaks students' names, CPR numbers, exam details

The Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies has mistakenly leaked students’ confidential information.

An internal spreadsheet which listed student names, CPR numbers and exam details was shared on Absalon, the online learning environment accessible to all University of Copenhagen students. In this case, 20 students in one group in Absalon had access to the information.

All students affected have recieved an apology email explaining that it was due to a human error. The new leak comes after a similar privacy breach last August and a departmental promise to change procedures.

Apology email reveals breach

The head of the department’s administration Lotte Kamp explains to the University Post Monday that the number of students affected is approximately the same as in the last leak. This would put the number of students at approximately 1,537, the number of students leaked in the last episode. Approximately 20 students were accidentally recipients of the information leaked, according to the apology e-mail.

“Due to a human error an internal working document has been uploaded to Absalon.” writes department administrator Lotte Kamp in the new apology email.

“I contact you as you are one of the students listed in the document with information of exam code, exam name, exam form, CPR-number, student number, full name, examiner’s name, topic, form of censorship, as well information about the time of registration.”

“As CPR-numbers are confidential and must not be published together with names to third parties, this is a case of breach of confidentiality between you and us which we of course will inform you of.”

Student: They haven’t learnt from their mistakes

In August 2014, the University Post reported that five students from the same Department had mistakenly received the confidential information of 1,537 students.

At the time, the department promised to prevent further leaks. “We have changed the relevant procedure in order to prevent this from happening again.” Lotte Kamp said last August.

The University Post’s source who forwarded the apology email is not impressed by the administration’s work processes. “it shows they haven’t learnt from their mistakes yet and that they keep giving away personal information,” the source says.

Department: A new type of error

Lotte Kamp confirms however to the University Post, that the procedures have, in fact, been changed, and that it was a different type of error that has now led to the new leak. It involved the accidental upload by a teacher on Absalon of a spreadsheet with the names and information. Procedures are being re-evaluated to avoid this new type of mistake, she says.

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