CREDIT: This story was originally seen on The Register
Capita may be in hot water again as a bug in its school information management system may have created a serious data breach
The protection of student data is currently under question, as Capita – which recently took over the management of primary school exam papers across the country – admitted that a bug in its system, which contains information accessed by 21,000 schools, may have created incorrect contact details for pupils.
This means that there’s a chance schools have been sending out personal information about students to the wrong addresses, creating a serious breach in confidentiality.
Capita has admitted its mistake and implemented a patch to ensure the mistake does not continue.
An e-mail about the breach was seen by The Register, in which the blame was placed on SIMS software. The message also stated that the bug is likely to have affected all users across the country.
The e-mail stated:
“The consequence of the corruption is that contact information for the incoming pupil for example, address, telephone number and email address, may have become associated with other pupil’s records, or the new pupil could themselves be linked to the wrong contact details.
“The problem could have impacted pre-admissions, pupils on roll and the records of school leavers.”
Schools have been told not to use the SIMS database for sending out letters or communications about pupils, and to ensure that details are correct before revealing anything.
Capita’s Education Support Services website stated that, “Only a small number of cases have been reported to our help desk”, despite the fact that one person apparently reported nearly 100 pupils with the wrong details at their school.
There is also concern around how long Capita knew about the issue before informing schools.