Vulnerability of research database results in controversial demotion of UNC-CH prof

Here’s a wake-up call for PIs who collect personal information about people participating in their research projects:

A cancer researcher at UNC-CH is being held responsible for a vulnerability in her project’s database that allowed a hacker to access 180,000 patient files.  Epidemiologist Bonnie Yankaskas has been demoted from professor to associate professor; her pay was cut almost in half.  But it could have been worse — the university initially wanted to fire her.

The case is going into mediation, so it’s unclear what the ultimate outcome will be for Yankaskas.  But for now, at least, the researcher is being held personally responsible for the security of her research data.   A group of faculty members at Chapel Hill and elsewhere have signed a petition supporting her.  Click here for details from The News & Observer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s