NZ: Kaeo Primary School privacy breach ‘an error’

Joseph Aldridge reports:

The principal of a small Northland school who posted private student information online says it was done “in error” and he removed it from the school website as soon as he was informed.

Kaeo Primary School’s Paul Barker said he mistakenly posted a “teachers only” version of student achievement information on the site this year. The online documents included names of underperforming children and those requiring extra assistance.

The documents were discovered in February by Tikipunga Primary School principal Donna Donnelly, who said she stumbled on them while doing research.

Ms Donnelly said she emailed the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Principals Federation, advising them of the privacy breach at Kaeo and asking them to do something.

Ms Donnelly sent another email to the ministry in October and another last week, at which time she contacted the Northern Advocate.

The ministry would not answer questions on why it did not contact the school earlier, saying only that it did a search of the website, which identified the private information, and the principal was contacted immediately.

Read more on The Northern Advocate.

It’s not clear to me why the principal who discovered the breach didn’t contact Kaeo directly back in February.   For files to remain exposed until the end of November when the breach was reported in February is of concern and requires further investigation.

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