We are communicating with you today to update you about a serious breach of confidential information and what we are doing about it.
Arundati Dandapani, our former chief editor, has left our organization to go work for the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC). Within the last 10 days of her employment – and without discussing it with anyone in our organization -- she rebranded our social media accounts to The Data Insights School. She also emailed a copy of our membership database to our board and others not on our board. All this was done without authorization and in the case of the membership directory, a breach of her Confidentiality Agreement.
We have therefore filed two criminal reports with the Ottawa Police – one pertaining to identity theft for the unauthorized use of online accounts belonging to other individuals, the other pertaining to office systems and subsystems, including the digital assets of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and our proprietary systems including the CMRP and Excellerate databases. We do not know what other information she copied before she left us on March 24 but she has made a full admission of her fraudulent actions.
Our board has also written to CRIC’s executive officer John Tabone and his board about the ethical breaches and digital asset struggles we suffered at the hands of Ms Dandapani. An excerpt from the letter reads:
“The purpose of this letter is to express our sincere hope that Ms Dandapani acted of her own accord in her theft of private data information and digital assets while working for CRIC. If they were in some way guided by yourself or anyone at the CRIC Board, the MRIA would be profoundly shocked. We would ask for confirmation of that fact and that you will in no way use or abuse any private or confidential information that Ms. Dandapani had access to while employed by the MRIA.”
We will keep you informed as the investigation continues. We look forward to a full forensic investigation by criminal legal specialists to determine the full extent of damages and appropriate next steps.
If you receive or have received communication from CRIC, CAIP or Ms. Dandapani and have not received emails from them in the past, please forward these messages to us immediately. As you know, our industry takes privacy and confidentiality very seriously and we regret this incident and any inconvenience to you. We will provide updates on this once law enforcement has conducted its investigation.
MRIA-ARIM and its Board of Directors