University of Ottawa notifies students about possible privacy breach

Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The University of Ottawa has launched an investigation into a missing external hard drive used to temporarily transfer certain personal student information from one computer to another at its Student Academic Success Services (SASS) office earlier this month.

The external hard drive contained personal information of approximatively 900 current and former students who used SASS’ Access Service to get academic accommodations. Students whose personal information was on the external hard drive are being notified. Support services are being offered to students impacted by this incident, such as an information line.

The University has reported the incident to the Ottawa Police Service and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has also been notified.

The University’s investigation is ongoing and its objective is to confirm the nature of the personal information that was stored on the external hard drive. The University is committed to ensuring all students affected are aware of the exact nature of their personal information that was stored on the external hard drive.

The University takes its role in safeguarding personal information and using it in an appropriate manner very seriously. Measures have been put in place at SASS to reduce the risk of the situation recurring.

The University is deeply sorry about this situation.

Media inquiries:

Isabelle Mailloux-Pulkinghorn
Manager (acting), Media Relations
Cell: 613-240-0275 
imaillou@uOttawa.ca

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