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Understanding and Reporting Privacy Incidents

What Is a Privacy Incident?

A privacy incident is any event that compromises the privacy or confidentiality of personal information. This could be accidental or deliberate and may involve the unauthorized use, disclosure, alteration or destruction of personal information.

Examples of Privacy Incidents

  • Unauthorized Access: Unauthorized access to systems containing personal information
  • Data Misuse: Sharing personal information without consent or legitimate business purpose
  • Loss or theft: The loss of devices or documents containing personal information
  • Misdirection or Misplacement: Sharing personal information with unauthorized individuals in error (i.e. misdirecting an email about a student to another student instead of an employee).

Privacy incidents can lead to serious consequences for the affected individuals such as loss of trust, reputational damage, identity theft and financial losses.

Additionally, privacy incidents may subject the university to significant financial, reputational, and operational consequences. In light of these potential consequences, Drexel’s Privacy Program Services department strives to prevent, detect and correct privacy issues. To succeed in this mission, we need your support!

How Do I Report a Privacy Incident?

If you suspect a privacy incident, no matter the size, please contact us immediately. Remember: It’s Okay to Ask!

You can report through Drexel’s Compliance Hotline. The hotline is maintained by external, third-party provider EthicsPoint and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online and by phone. Reports can be made anonymously. You can also report privacy incidents or concerns by contacting us at

We are here to help, and we are here to support you. We understand that mistakes happen. Our focus is not on blame but on resolving and correcting the issue. We handle all reports with strict confidentiality—what you share with us will be shared on a need to know basis only. Thank you for your help in keeping the University community safe.