Sensitive Alumni Data Leaked in Pembroke College Data Breach

Author:
Alexander Welham
Data Protection Solicitor
Date:
24/05/2021

A telethon leak at Oxford University has caused sensitive data about some of Pembroke College’s alumni to be exposed. The college hasn’t confirmed exactly how many people have been affected but have said that the college ‘deeply regrets this incident’.

They’ve reported that “The source of the problem was identified as the technical set-up of a Teams site where alumni data sheets were shared with our student telethon callers.” The college has since launched an internal investigation and have confirmed that the data has now been secured.

If you’re an alumni of Pembroke College and you’re worried about your personal data being breached or leaked, there’s a chance you could make a claim for data breach compensation. Get in touch with our Data Breach Solicitors today for a free case assessment.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

What Data was Exposed?

According to Cherwell, who were first to report the personal data breach, current Oxford University SSO users were able to access the sensitive alumni data from the 2021 telethon.

This included:

  • Full names
  • Ages
  • Addresses
  • Telephone numbers

As well as alumni personal data, the calling sheets were also made available, which included information about previous donations made by the exposed alumni, and the amount that the telethon workers were told to ask for in the calls.

The full telethon information pack was uncovered, including a gift form template, the script that telethon callers were meant to follow and Pembroke College’s training material.

The college has confirmed that “The limited number of individuals, outside of the authorised group, who have been identified as accessing the data will be contacted to remind them of the consequences of the misuse of data, and we are contacting the alumni involved to apologise for this breach.”

Pembroke have also reported the data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Charities Commission, and are reviewing their current procedures to reduce the risk of another data breach happening in the future.

Were any other Colleges Affected?

While Pembroke College’s relationship management system is hosted on the University of Oxford’s network, as far as we know, Pembroke is the only Oxford college currently known to be affected by the data breach. Cherwell have also reported that they’ve not found any evidence of a similar telethon leak at any of the other colleges.

What Should Pembroke Alumni Do to Protect their Data?

If you’re a Pembroke College alumni and your personal information was exposed, you should have already been contacted by Pembroke College. If you’ve not, and you’ve still got concerns, you should get in touch with the college directly.

While this data breach was down to a technical error rather than a targeted attack, you can never be too sure if your data temporarily fell into the wrong hands. Keep an eye out for any phishing emails or calls and remember to regularly update your passwords.

If you’ve been affected by this data breach and you’d like to know more about making a claim for compensation, our Data Breach Solicitors will be happy to look at your case and let you know if you’ve got grounds for a claim. We can often handle data breach claims on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for more details.  

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