Confidential documents left in CUSU open office

TCS Reporter 23 September 2014

Questions are being asked of security at CUSU after a number of confidential documents were left unattended in a student computer room.

Last week, an unmarked folder was found in a pile of documents on a desk in the CUSU students’ computer room, which is open to students over the holidays. Several of the documents contained specific details of sensitive Student Advice Service correspondence.

All documents have since been returned, and no data has been retained.

According to their 2013-14 Annual Report, SAS dealt with 233 cases in total in the last year. 

When contacted by The Cambridge Student, CUSU Women’s Officer Amelia Horgan said: “The Student Advice Service stores all documentation securely, and we are gravely concerned about this breach of confidentiality.”

Both CUSU and SAS are in the process of carrying out internal investigations.

SAS issued a statement in response to the incident, saying: “Jack Wright, the GU/CUSU Welfare and Rights Officer, along with fellow advice officers – the CUSU Women’s Officer and Education Officer – would like to apologise on behalf of the Student Advice Service, and stress how seriously this issue is being taken.”

The statement also detailed the remedial steps being taken by CUSU, who said "We have already contacted all students whose data was breached and are doing our best to support them, so if you've used the SAS and not been contacted about this, your data is safe.

“There have already been improvements since the breach occurred: the recently appointed elected members of the Advice Team received more extensive training than ever before and the level of professional staffing in the Service has been increased.

“Still, we expect to further improve our review procedures and how we store students’ private information confided to the Service."