Human error causes data breach at UW
Published Friday, March 8, 2019 6:00PM EST
A data breach at the University of Waterloo caused names, student numbers and even some banking information to be sent to an email chain.
About 2,000 students received the email, which contained the personal information of 15 students.
“Three of those 15 emails contained more personal information, including one email that had some banking information and two emails that included either a home or mailing address,” says Matthew Grant, director of media relations.
He says the breach was a result of human error.
A grad student says he saw 25 names in the email chain, not 15.
When Faizan Aldaf opened the email on Wednesday evening, he didn’t think much of it, but then he realized it was an email chain with other students’ info.
“They were basically asked to please kindly delete the emails and to empty their trash as well,” he says. He calls the email blast an “unfortunate accident more than a data breach.”
Officials say that the students listed in the email have been notified. The University of Waterloo says it has contacted the province’s privacy commissioner to report what happened and to seek additional advice.