UNC administrators have taken steps to rectify the data breach that occurred at the beginning of November — but for many in the campus community, it’s not enough.
Thursday afternoon, faculty and students gathered for a community meeting concerning the incident.
The breach leaked the personal information of about 6,500 students and faculty, including in some instances Social Security numbers, dates of birth and addresses.
“There are no magic answers,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Matt Brody told the audience repeatedly.
According to a University press release, the safeguards on the Division of Finance and Administration computer that normally prevent unauthorized access were accidentally disabled. The files were then copied and displayed by an automated Google process.
Vice chancellors from across campus sat on a panel that heard the concerns of those in attendance, about 75 people.
The administrators leading the meeting apologized for the mistake and informed those in attendance of the services being provided to protect them, such as a free, year-long subscription to a credit monitoring service.
“I want to say that good, honest people make mistakes,” Brody said.
“No response is perfect and we are doing our best as the situation evolves.”
Brody responded to the majority of the questions asked at the meeting — even recounting his own experience with identity theft.
Robert Weaver, an accounting technician for UNC’s Institute for the Environment, said he thinks that the security measures need to be more strictly enforced. He asked the panel to mandate the new steps across all departments.
“Had you considered what you could do to keep us from being back here a year from now?,” he said.
David Brannigan, a Grounds Services worker, drafted a petition that gathered more than 100 signatures. It criticized the University’s response.
Brannigan said he felt that bringing the responsible parties together was important. While the University sent letters to those affected by the breach, Brannigan said the letters were vague and unclear.
“What we got is not enough,” he said.
He said the letter’s anonymity made it seem like those responsible didn’t want to own up.
Dale Krams, an employee of UNC School of Medicine, said the year-long subscription to the credit monitoring service was not enough.
“It’s going to cost all of us time and money and really, one year of credit monitoring is just a drop in the bucket,” she said.
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