UI spokesperson, students address privacy breach - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI spokesperson, students address privacy breach

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

A routine email sent Wednesday to a large group of University Iowa students with the Center for Diversity and Enrichment has created extraordinary circumstances.

"We're going to do analysis to determine how this happened and what steps we can take to prevent a reoccurrence," said UI spokesperson Tom Moore.

UI officials say a part-time employee accidentally attached a private document to the email.

That private document contained the names and grade point averages of some 2,000 students.

GPA's are considered private information protected by privacy laws.

"We still are taking this very seriously and we want to make it clear to the students that we regret this happened," Moore said.

The university has apologized, sending an email to all recipients and asking them to delete or shred the private documents.

Among the students whose information was compromised, was UI junior Gabriela Soltys.

"I didn't really even know it happened until they emailed us that," she said.

Soltys says she isn't concerned with the type of information that was released.
"I don't really mind if people see my GPA, I mean, what are they going to do with the information anyways?" Soltys said.

Others we spoke with shared similar feelings.
One student tweeted, "I can't stop laughing, but I'm embarrassed."

The university is recognizing things could have been worse with the release of much more sensitive information.

Officials are taking steps to protect students from similar mistakes in the future, reviewing processes and considering things like requiring supervisors to look over emails before they are sent.

"All we can do is apologize for the mistake and try to fix the system from allowing the same mistakes to occur again," Moore said.

Counselors are available for students if needed.

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