UK: Counselling Service admits breach of trust after releasing over 300 emails

Raf Sanchez reports in Nouse:

The University Counselling Service [at York University] has admitted a “serious breach of trust” after releasing the email addresses of over three hundred students and staff taking counselling.

The addresses were accidentally put in the cc field of an email sent out on February 22 to 344 people on the counselling database, making them visible to all recipients. The identities of those with University email addresses can be easily ascertained using the ‘Contact People’ function on University website.

Minutes after the mistake was made a second email was sent out reading: “URGENT PLEASE DELETE LAST EMAIL (Access to Counselling Building) Information was included that should not have been sent”. Two hours later the Counselling Service sent out a ‘recall’, designed to delete emails in the recipients’ inbox. However, the recall email also included the 344 addresses in the cc field, revealing all the emails for a second time. The recall was only effective if the email was had not already been opened. A final email was sent out by Senior Counsellor Mandy Alderson explaining the situation and apologising for the mistake.

Full story –Nouse

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