University of Ottawa missing hard drive with data on 900 students

CBC reports:

The University of Ottawa has launched an investigation after an external hard drive containing the personal information of approximately 900 students disappeared earlier this month.

[…]

The hard drive was used to back up personal information on individuals who accessed a university resource for students with disabilities or mental health issues applying for special academic accommodations.

Read more on CBC News.

Here’s the university’s statement, posted today on their site:

The University of Ottawa has launched an investigation into a missing external hard drive used to backup certain personal student information at its Student Academic Success Services (SASS) office earlier this month.

The external hard drive contained personal information of approximatively 900 current and former students who used SASS’ Access Service to get academic accommodations. Students whose personal information was on the external hard drive are being notified. Support services are being offered to students impacted by this incident, such as an information line.

The University has reported the incident to the Ottawa Police Service and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has also been notified.

The University’s investigation is ongoing and its objective is to confirm the nature of the personal information that was stored on the external hard drive. The University is committed to ensuring all students affected are aware of the exact nature of their personal information that was stored on the external hard drive.

The University takes its role in safeguarding personal information and using it in an appropriate manner very seriously. Measures have been put in place at SASS to reduce the risk of the situation recurring.

The University is deeply sorry about this situation.

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