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DCU apologises for data protection breach

A survey sent out to employers of DCU graduates allowed all recipients to view the entire mailing list. DCU says the incident was a genuine mistake.

Image: [File Photo] Photocall Ireland

DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY has issued an apology after the office that deals with its Intra work placements flooded hundreds of inboxes with unwanted emails.

The office subscribed a number of businesses and employers to an email list without permission. An email was sent out asking employers – many of whom had taken on DCU graduates as part of their Intra programme – to fill out a survey.

However, when a recipient replied and asked to be removed from the list, that reply was sent out to everyone who had received the emails. One employer who contacted TheJournal.ie said they had a “full mailbox” of “please unsubscribe me” emails, and that email addresses and names were plainly visible.

A spokesperson from DCU has confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the incident occurred in error, calling it a “genuine mistake”, and that the mailing list had not been properly configured. The list has now been shut down. The spokesperson says that every effort is being made to contact each employer individually to issue an apology.

The Data Protection Commissioner recommends that all efforts should be made to avoid the unnecessary disclosure of email addresses to others.

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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