A mistaken attachment to an email sent to a group of top law students at the University of Virginia illustrates how easy it is to compromise the highly confidential information that resides alongside the mundane data on computers.
While trying to send out information on a Maryland clerkship opportunity, the law school’s director of judicial clerkships accidentally sent a spreadsheet with a myriad of academic and personal details to about 160 students, according to the school and Above the Law.
From the spreadsheet, 155 clerk hopefuls – about half of the 2015 graduating class – can learn the class ranks of their counterparts, information normally withheld from students at U.Va. law.
Also revealed are details like grade point averages, summer jobs and those providing letters of recommendation, ATL said.
The information did not include social security numbers or financial information, according to a statement from the school.
The spreadsheet highlights a raging case of grade inflation, according to ATL. Half the class has GPAs of 3.405 or above, the blog reported.
“We are deeply distressed that this mistake occurred, and we are in the process of reviewing our data management procedures to build in more safeguards against unintentional disclosures,” read the statement provided by a school spokesperson.