City College Norwich will investigate an email error linked to a data breach

8:00 a.m. July 10, 2022

A college has promised to investigate after the personal details of hundreds of its applicants were emailed to a single parent by mistake.

In August last year, the mother of a City College Norwich student was exchanging emails with one of the college’s customer service team members when she received a piece unexpected attachment.

An email was sent to him containing a spreadsheet titled “P2E links for scheduled applicants”.

Assuming it was related to the business she was pursuing with the college, she opened the attachment expecting to see something directed at her.

Instead, she was shocked to discover a spreadsheet full of intimate personal details about hundreds of people associated with the college.

These included names, phone numbers, postal and email addresses and other identifying details.

She responded by questioning the attachment and was told it had been sent in error and asked to delete the email – then heard no more about the error.

The parent, who did not wish to be named, said: “I was really quite shocked at the level of detail included in the spreadsheet and it’s such a shame that it was sent out so easily by mistake. .

“Who knows what might have happened if the information had fallen into the wrong hands? I know I would have been upset to think my details had been sent to someone I didn’t know.

“I’m sure my son’s details need to be there, so I feel for everyone. It’s a pretty serious data breach.

“I just think something needs to be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Although the parent did not pursue the matter immediately, after being alerted to what had happened by this newspaper, the college pledged to fully investigate the incident.

Corrienne Peasgood OBE, Principal of City College Norwich.
– Credit: Archant

Corrienne Peasgood, head of the college, said: “I can confirm that we take any reports of data breaches very seriously and as data controller I will investigate this historic incident to the best of my ability.”

The incident is believed to have been totally isolated, with the offending email being sent directly to the parent and no one else.

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