Life Sciences students facing mass data breach

Queen’s apologized to students and is offering support

Sensitive student information was released to fourth-year Life Sciences students.

Confidential student information in the Life Sciences department was disseminated via email on Apr. 7.

The information included student GPAs, student names, student numbers, academic plans, and years of study as of Sept. 2021. Students' sexes and email addresses were also compromised. 

In an email obtained by The Journal sent to Life Sciences students following the incident, Katherine Rudder, Life Sciences program advisor, said she “inadvertently” attached an Excel class list file containing the compromised information to an email sent out to all fourth-year Life Sciences students. The subject of the email was a networking opportunity.

“The email message was recalled immediately, and Information Technology Services has worked quickly to delete the email and attachment,” Rudder wrote in an email sent to The Journal.

Mark Erdman, Manager of Community Relations, clarified the data breach occurred for all Life Sciences students except first-years in an email sent to The Journal on behalf of the University.

Erdman noted the University takes data breaches seriously and makes efforts to mitigate any negative effects students might face. 

“Information Technology Services was contacted and has deleted all copies of the email and the attachment in question. The Department quickly notified all students in Life Sciences of the breach and what personal information had been disclosed,” Erdman wrote. 

Erdman expressed regret on behalf of the University and apologized to those affected.

“Life Sciences students with questions can contact the Associate Dean [Louise Winn], Life Sciences and Biochemistry,” Erdman said. 

“Students needing wellness support can contact Empower Me, Good2Talk, a 24/7 support line for post-secondary students, or Student Wellness Services.”

 

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.