MyNotes - Protecting Confidential Student Records = #FAIL

Update 05/28/2014 - TrueCrypt is now defunct

Update 01/3/2012: I now recommend the free, open source AESCrypt in lieu of AxCrypt/NCrypt as a simple, easy to use cross-platform encryption tool. Find out more here.

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Contracting with an outside entity, even if it's a state entity? Important questions to ask include the following:

  1. How will you safeguard our confidential data?
  2. If the data is to be put on portable computers or devices, are you encrypting it?
  3. Who exactly will have access to confidential data?
It's funny how many embarrassments could be eliminated if schools and those they contract with would take steps. Some quick reminders:

MyNotes - 
West superintendent critical of state’s  failure to protect student records

Excerpt from  Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News June 20, 2011 9:50PM

  • West Aurora School Superintendent James Rydland was highly critical of the state this week over the recent stolen identities and records of about 10,000 students and staff from 42 northern Illinois school districts. Among those districts were West Aurora and Kaneland.
  • Two weeks ago, two laptop computers belonging to the Harrisburg Project, a subcontractor of the Illinois State Board of Education, were stolen from a vehicle in Palatine. About 1,800 special education students, and several staff from the West Aurora district had their Social Security numbers and student identifications on those laptops.
  • The state subcontractor should not have been traveling with this information in an unsecure format, Rydland complained this week. 
  • The staff data stored on the computers included name, demographics, Social Security number, teacher certification number and work assignment. 
  • The student data included resident school district, birth date, name, student identification number, Social Security number, student’s identified disability, bilingual special education and other information.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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