Monday 19 February 2018

Inquiry into data breach at college

The error was caused when emailing out the results to students
The error was caused when emailing out the results to students

Elaine Keogh

THE Data Protection Commission is investigating a data breach by a college, which led to applicants being given portfolio assessment marks of other applicants instead of receiving just their own result.

As part of the application process, prospective students for the Bachelor of Arts course at Cork Institute of Technology must include a portfolio of their work and it is assessed and marked out of 600.

The names and addresses of each of the 137 applicants who had been successful and selected to go to the next stage of the process were also part of the email that was sent to all those who received the email.

The breach related to applicants for a course at CIT's Crawford College of Art and Design.

As a result of the data breach, each of the 137 were notified not only of their mark, but the mark of the other 136 as well.

In a letter that arrived in the post and by email yesterday and was signed by Dr Barry O'Connor, the registrar for CIT, and Orla Flynn, head of Crawford College, details of the breach were outlined.

It also said CIT "regrets any upset or confusion this email error may have caused you".

A spokesperson for the Data Protection Commission said: "Cork Institute of Technology has made a breach notification to this office concerning applicants for a particular course."

CIT said: "It has come to our attention that a number of CAO candidates who have applied to CIT Crawford College of Art & Design had some of their details shared inadvertently with other candidates. CIT regrets this occurrence.

"All the relevant people, including the affected candidates and the Data Commissioner, have been notified. CIT is currently taking steps to identify how this data breach occurred and to ensure it is not repeated."

Irish Independent

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