Theology lecturer breaches confidentiality in mass email


A private email containing sensitive information about a student was sent to all Theology undergraduates this morning.

The discussion about a student’s mental health and attendance was accidentally forwarded to several hundred students.

The student was explicitly named in the email and specific details about their university life were highlighted.

In the email the lecturer claimed that the student had “not been attending due to social anxiety.”

It continues: “However, I have never received any official medical notification of this, and I am wondering whether the department has any “official” awareness of [the student] suffering from this. [The student] says that [the student] still wants credit for the course, and !”

A follow up email urged recipients to “simply delete it and accept our apologies for any inconvenience.” The department have stressed that they “take confidentiality matters very seriously.”

A Durham University spokesperson said: “We are urgently looking into reports of a potential data breach, and we cannot further until we have completed our investigation.”

In October, data about Durham University staff members was taken from the My Durham benefits portal – supplied by Sodexo – in a data breach.

Photography: Durham University website

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