Doxxed! Student Directory Error Temporarily Leaks Private Information


On January 31, 2024, at 3:46 P.M., an email was sent by the Transylvania University Student Government Association (TUSGA) to the students of Transylvania informing them that a massive issue had been resolved. That issue was the student directory, a list of every student on campus located on the “Inside Transy” website, had private information about each student open to the public. Such information included personal cell phone numbers, room assignments, and even home addresses. Students had been given the option to either display or not display their information, but due to an unforeseen error, students who had opted to keep such details private were left exposed.

This is a prime example of what many would call a “dox,” which is when private information is uploaded or revealed without a user’s consent. Although the leak was an oversight and not a malicious attack, student information was exposed to the public without consent nonetheless. One of the first to notice the issue was first-year Max Hankins, near the beginning of the winter semester, who saw that information he wanted to keep private was exposed. Other students noticed the problem as well and the issue was eventually reported to TUSGA, who later worked with the Dean of Students, Michael Covert, and Transylvania Information Technology (IT) Services to fix the issue on January 28th. 

Thankfully, it is unlikely that many people would have seen the leaked information or used it for nefarious purposes. Due to the keen eye of several students and everyone who worked hard to resolve this issue, the information leak was fixed, and now anyone who opted out of having their private information revealed on the student directory only has their school email next to their names. If any student would like to opt out of displaying information or are unsure of their current status, they can alter it by logging into Transylvania’s “Self-Service” page, clicking on the “Student Links” tab, clicking on the “Directory Permission” link near the bottom of the screen, and then submitting a new form saying whether or not they wish to have their private information included on the student directory.