Inquiry launched into data breach at CIT

An inquiry has been launched at Cork Institute of Technology after applicants to the Bachelor of Arts course were accidentally sent an email containing the personal details and grades of all 137 successful candidates.

A letter has been sent to those involved apologising for the mistake which happened last month. The data breach included the addresses and names of the candidates, some of whom are thought to be under the age of 18.

Head of the Crawford College of Art and Design Orla Flynn explained that “due to a technical error in the email merge process, all students deemed eligible to go forward to the final selection process received a copy of each individual e-mail in the e-mail batch.”

“Thus, each individual’s name, address, ID number and portfolio mark has been e-mailed to all 137 candidates who were deemed eligible to go forward to the final selection process.”

As part of the application process for the course candidates must submit a portfolio, which is marked out of 600.

In a statement later made by CIT, the college said it “regretted this occurrence and is currently taking steps to identify how this data breach occurred and to ensure it is not repeated.”

They also urged students involved to delete the email, and warned that the information sent contained inaccuracies.

The Data Protection Commission is currently investigating the breach, however a spokesperson has said that “the letter of apology along with the request to delete the email “are in line with our data security breach code of practice.”

Hannah Bowler

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