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Swinburne says staff, student data has been leaking since 2013 Featured

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Swinburne says staff, student data has been leaking since 2013 Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Melbourne's Swinburne University of Technology has taken a month to issue information about the leaking on the Internet of personal data over seven years.

In a statement issued on Friday, Swinburne said it had been advised in March about the leak of data which it said was event registration information from 2013 onwards.

Names, email addresses and phone numbers of about 5200 of its staff, 100 students and what it called "some externals" — roughly 200 other people — were exposed on the Internet.

In 2019, the Canberra-based Australian National University suffered a much bigger data breach, with personal details of staff, students and visitors over the previous 19 years exposed.

"We took immediate action to investigate and respond to this data breach, including removing the information and conducting an audit across other similar sites," the university said in the statement.

"Our investigation showed that the source of the data was an event registration Web page that is no longer available. The information made available was name, email address and, in some cases, a contact phone number.

"We sincerely apologise to all those impacted by this data breach and for any concerns this has caused.

"We are currently in the process of contacting all individuals whose information was made available to apologise to them and offer appropriate support.

"We are also contacting around 200 other individuals not connected to Swinburne who had registered for the event and whose information was also made available.

"We have reported the breach to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, followed by the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency and the Victorian Education Department."


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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