Vaccine exemption data leak publicizes students' private information

Students who had applied for vaccine exemptions at CSU Chico had their personal information leaked online.

The university has launched an investigation into the incident.

A spreadsheet containing the names and phone numbers of 130 students from California State University, Chico was leaked onto the internet Monday. Several students were named in the leak, which revealed personal information included in their COVID-19 vaccine exemption forms.

Andrew Staples, the public relations manager at CSU Chico, rushed to reassure students telling the Sacramento Bee, “We are aware of the documents posted online and circulated among the media. We are investigating this incident, while also taking a number of proactive steps to protect students’ confidential information.”

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Campus Reform spoke with one student who requested anonymity. 

“The university has absolutely no right to tell students what to put in their body,” the student said, referring to the vaccine policy and subsequent data leak. 

Campus Reform also spoke with the Chico State College Republicans. The group said that they were “deeply upset” over the incident, adding that they “expect a thorough investigation to be conducted.” 

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Sean Murphy, the university’s media relations coordinator, told Campus Reform, “Chico State is following the CSU’s policy by honoring the right for students to claim a religious exemption.”

”The University continues to accept requests from students and employees for religious or medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccine exemptions,” Murphy added. “Students should still know that Chico State supports their rights to hold their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that the university has opened an internal investigation into the incident.