Whitby – Durham District School Board apologizes for e-mail leak of unvaccinated staff

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Published January 12, 2022 at 2:08 pm

A list of 800 employees of the Durham District School Board who are unvaccinated or “prefer not to discuss” was leaked to half the employees on the list last Wednesday.

On January 5, a routine e-mail on rapid test compliance was sent to 399 school board employees who have stated they are “unvaccinated/prefer not to disclose”. As part of this e-mail, a spreadsheet containing a list of all those in that category – the board has stated that number is approximately 800 – was inadvertently attached.

“This incident should not have happened, and we have notified, apologized to, and followed-up with the approximately 800 employees that were impacted. The DDSB takes our responsibility to protect the personal information of all employees very seriously and we sincerely regret that this incident occurred,” the board said in a statement, adding that all the emails were deleted from the recipient’s inboxes.

The board said it is committed to doing “everything possible” to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future and that staff understand the “critical importance” of verifying that emails do not contain attachments of this nature.

The statement also declared it is “reviewing its practices related to the handling of sensitive information.”

The 800 employees on the not vaxxed/prefer not to disclose category represents about 10 per cent of all employees and trustees with the Durham District School Board.

All Durham District School Board employees are required to disclose their vaccination status and unvaccinated staff can continue to attend work if they participate in a rapid testing program.

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