Students' emails wrongly shared in administrative error
A government quango has apologised after thousands of students' email addresses were sent to other customers.
Student Finance England accidentally released the emails of about 8,000 students in what it said was an "administrative error".
The firm said it had been in touch with all the students involved.
Student Finance England is part of the Student Loans Company, a government-owned organisation set up to provide grants and loans to UK students.
On Monday, the firm sent out an email to about 8,000 students who are due to start university courses this autumn, reminding them to fill in grant application forms.
But the email included the email addresses of all those on the distribution list.
One student affected contacted the BBC News website and said: "This is such a disgusting error in the security of students' data. They can't get away with it."
In a statement, the firm said: "We are sorry that a number of student email addresses have been included in an email which has been sent to other customers.
"The information was sent in error and only included email addresses, no other personal student data was shared.
"We have contacted all customers affected to let them know about this issue.
"The integrity and security of student accounts and the protection of personal information is vital to us, and we apologise to all of the students involved."
In 2009, the Student Loans Company came under fire after thousands of students did not receive their loans in time.