UI notifies students about erroneous release of protected information
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On Wednesday, Feb. 6, a document was mistakenly distributed to approximately 2,000 University of Iowa students associated with the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment (CDE) in the Chief Diversity Office that contained their names, number of enrolled credit hours, and grade point averages (GPA).
GPA is a temporary indicator of academic performance. It is privileged information. It is also information that is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Due to the protected status of FERPA information, recipients of that email were asked to delete the data attachment from their computers to avoid re-distributing or printing the document. If anyone made printed copies, they were asked to shred them.
UI leaders have begun to notify the affected students about the error. The university has also apologized to the students and informed them that corrective action is being taken to remedy the situation and to prevent a recurrence. The students have also received information about how to receive counseling and support services in cases where they feel that would be helpful.