University of Essex data breach being taken ‘very seriously’ – BBC


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Details of more than 400 students were leaked after a spreadsheet containing personal information was accidentally attached to an email

A data breach affecting more than 400 students is being treated "very seriously", the University of Essex said.

Law firm Hayes Connor, which is representing some students, said an email from an external partner of the college included personal information.

A spreadsheet containing student IDs, dates of birth and contact details was attached to the email on 23 March.

The university said it was offering support to those affected.

An email from facilities management was sent requesting payment for repairs to a broken door at an accommodation block, and it included the personal information.

'High expectations'

Christine Sabino, a legal specialist at Hayes Connor representing those affected, said it was a "particularly worrying" data breach.

"The spreadsheet included on this email contained all kinds of crucial data on hundreds of people, so the seriousness of the issue should not be downplayed," she said.

"Through our work, we have seen how breaches of this kind can have a big impact on those affected.

"It should also be remembered that many of the individuals involved here are young adults living away from home for the first time."

She said students who approached them were "desperate" to know how it happened and what was being done to prevent it happening again.

A University of Essex spokesman said: "We are taking this issue very seriously and ensuring our delivery partners understand our high expectations about the management of data.

"We've contacted all individuals involved to offer advice and support."

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