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Private info of 4,600 B.C. students leaked
Published Monday, March 19, 2012 9:06AM PDT
The leak of private information for thousands of accounting students was the result of an "unfortunate error," according to the Certified General Accountants Association of B.C.
An email sent to 2,300 CGA students on Tuesday accidentally contained an Excel spreadsheet containing personal data of about 4,600 of its students.
The spreadsheet included student names, genders, mailing and shipping addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, employers, job titles, citizenship statuses, as well as student ID numbers.
After learning of the error, the CGA sent out a notification to students asking them to delete the email containing the personal information.
Student Alice Chang told Steele on Your Side she was shocked to learn her personal information was put at risk for identity theft.
"I was concerned. I was hoping that the other students wouldn't do anything about the information, but you never know. They could take this information and sell it."
The association said it has apologized to students and said it is working closely with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of B.C. to assess the threat.
"Our initial investigation shows that based on a threat matrix published by their office, the risk to identity theft, fraud, hurt or harm and other damages is relatively low as no personal information was released in conjunction with any social insurance numbers, driver's license numbers, credit card or any other financial information," spokesperson Edward Downing said in a statement.
"As all students are governed by our Code of Ethics we have full confidence that they will simply delete the file as requested."
The CGA is changing all student ID numbers over the next few days an additional precaution.
Chang doesn't believe the measures are enough.
"I don't think issuing new student IDs will solve the problem because the information has already been released. I don't think the CGA is doing enough to safeguard students' privacy," she said.
Concerned students are being advised to visit the CGA website for the latest information, and steps to protect their personal information.
Watch CTV tonight for more on this developing story from Lynda Steele…