UCD Logo. UCD may not be distrubiting the Student Leap Card this September.

UCD Student’s Union may prevent the distribution of Student Leap Cards on campus over privacy concerns

UCD is one of the highest ranking universities in Ireland, with students all over the world attending it. Coming up to orientation week, generally speaking, students would be organising to get their Student Leap Card on campus, which allows them to avail of decreased fares on Dublin Bus, DART, and Luas. Previously, the only way to get one was through your University that you attend. However, a new system has been put in place where you can order it online, give the code you received to a person at your campus and they can print it for you. It helps expedite the queues, as nearly everything is done ahead of time.

However, that system is not without its flaws. Apparently, nearly all of the details you used to sign up are displayed to whoever is printing your Leap Card. Entering the PIN code on their system will have a dropdown of suggested numbers, and each number has all of the details of the person who ordered it. According to emails seen by The Irish Times, this security flaw was pointed out back in May by the UCDSU to Fimak, a company which operates the service on behalf of the National Transport Authority (NTA). While Fimak has said that this system “has been approved by the NTA, and is fit for this purpose”, internal emails from mid-August between the UCDSU and the NTA say otherwise.

“UCDSU did not want to risk having the personal information of our student members abused . . . As students across the country begin this semester, we need this serious data breach to be resolved immediately,” UCDSU President Barry Murphy said to The Irish Times.

The UCD Student’s Union has refused to sign a data processing agreement with the NTA until the problem is rectified. This would see students in UCD unable to purchase a Student Leap Card on campus. However, a spokesperson for the NTA said that changes were made and are currently in testing. Those changes are expected to be implemented in the coming days. Should these changes be acceptable, it’s likely that the UCDSU will sign a data processing agreement with the NTA and resume course for the distribution of Student Leap Cards in September.

Source: The Irish Times

An Irish technology fanatic with a BSc in Computer Science. Lover of smartphones, cybersecurity, and Counter-Strike. You can contact me at adam.conway@irishtech.ie.
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