School privacy breaches preventable, commissioner says
Saskatchewan's privacy commissioner says Horizon School Division needs to make some changes after two privacy breaches involving students.
Privacy Commissioner Gary Dickson said staff at Ituna school knew of the breaches, but have done nothing about them.
In one case the school had been using paper it had recycled in the office, and sent a note home with a student that had private information about another student printed on the back.
"It was given to our daughter with the instruction 'do not read the back,' and it contains enough information that I was able to identify the student to whom the information was about, which happens to be a peer of out daughter's," the father of the student was quoted in the report.
Dickson said the note appeared to indicate that there were problems in the student's home, revealing information of the student's family status.
In a second incident, private information was shared by a teacher.
Parents of one student decided to switch schools. It was information shared with school officials, but was not supposed to be shared with students.
When a teacher at Ituna found out the news she shared it with her class.
Dickson said the school should send a note of apology for breaching the privacy of the student.
He blames the breaches on lack of training and written policies.
The report recommends that the Board of Education of Horizon School Division should develop written policies and procedures and train all staff that manage personal information accordingly.
Dickson also said physical and administrative safeguards should be put in place for personal information.