Victoria University of Wellington's Faculty of Law has been forced to apologise over a privacy breach after an email containing confidential details of law students was sent out to a group of 200 and 300 level students yesterday.
The email headed 'Law Learning & Teaching – Invitation to LLB/LLB(Hons) Students to Join Law Faculty Research Seminar Lunches' had an excel spreadsheet attached which contained names, email address and student identification numbers.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Mark Hickford, and Deputy Dean of Law, Gordon Stewart, said the email was an unfortunate error.
A concerned law student who wants to remain anonymous said, "the faculty not only had created an unsecured excel spreadsheet with the private details of a large number of students but then had no control in place to prevent the transmission of said data.
"Doubly poor form considering they are a law faculty and the world is currently more concerned with digital privacy due to the new EU regulations," the student says.
A separate email was sent soon after, requesting students who received the spreadsheet to delete the email.
"In line with legal integrity, if you received the message, could you please refrain from viewing the Excel spreadsheet and immediately delete the email and spreadsheet.
"It would be greatly appreciated if you could please confirm when you have done this," a statement from the Faculty of Law said in email.
Mr Hickford and Mr Steward apologised in email to the students whose details were released for the mistake.
"We will review what happened and update our processes to ensure this does not happen again," they said.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has been notified about the email.