TRU says online privacy possibly compromised

KAMLOOPS – The private information of students and alumni at the local university could have been compromised sometime within the last three years because of a software bug that affected the institution’s online portal.

Students who used the online myTRU portal to access personal documents, including tuition payment options, received an email from Thompson Rivers University this weekend. The statement advised students their information, including financial records, faced what university representatives call a 'small risk' of being veiwed by another member.

“We have learned that a software bug in the myTRU portal introduced a small risk that private information could have been accidentally viewed by another member of the TRU community between October 2012 and March 16, 2015. There is no indication that there has been any misuse of this information,” the statement said.

In the release Matt Milovick, the university’s Vice President of Administration and Finance, said the university discovered one student gained access to another’s information from the bug after both students automatically reset their passwords to the portal at the same time. It is suspected there are only a small amount of students whose information could be impacted, Milovick said. He added students who could have been affected were those who reset their passwords automatically. 

“This, combined with the fact that it was restricted to internal users gaining temporary access on an accidental basis, limits the likelihood that the information exposed was used maliciously,” Milovick said.

The incident was reported to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. While the university works out the issue with plans to update the portal, the automatic password reset option has been disabled.

Milovick advises students to take precautions by reviewing financial information including recent bank transactions.

If you see anything irregular or an error, the university advises to contact your bank and TRU’s Privacy Office.

For other questions or concerns contact the Privacy Office by email at privacy@tru.ca or by phone at 250-828-5012.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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