Student Reporter Exposes Personal Information Leak on DeKalb County School’s Website This data breach was discovered by a Chamblee High School student who said he first reported it to the district in March.
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The DeKalb County School District has confirmed that staff members accidentally exposed the personal information of tens of thousands of students and employees on its own internal website.
The data leak was discovered by a Chamblee High School student who said he first reported it to the district in March and then wrote about it in the student newspaper two months later.
“I was like, wow,” said senior graduate Keegan Brooks. “It’s crazy that the district has made all of this widely available to everyone.”
The leak was not available to the general public, only to those with an approved login to the DeKalb County School District system, but that could mean more than 100,000 people could have seen it if they had searched.
Brooks, who is the editor of the student newspaper Chamblee High School Blue and Gold, said the information included Social Security numbers, student transcripts, disciplinary reports and medical records.
“You had to be in the school system to get in, but it’s still like tens of thousands of students, over 100,000 people in total with all the students and staff that make up the district,” Brooks said. “It’s not as bad as being publicly available, but it’s still egregious.”
The district released a lengthy statement confirming Brooks’ discovery and promising steps were being taken to correct the problem:
“(The DeKalb County School District) is aware of the circumstances in which isolated files containing identifiable information have been made available to staff and students. An internal investigation determined that poor management of records by employees was the cause of these conditions. If it is determined that stakeholders have had or may have had access to their information by unauthorized persons, DCSD will promptly notify such persons as required by law.
The DCSD went on to say it was revising its own internal protocols, strengthening internal data protection controls and increasing staff training.
Brooks said his story became the most read Chamblee Blue and Gold story of the entire year.
“We thought that was a very important story,” Brooks said. “People deserved to know how the school district was not necessarily fulfilling its obligations to students and staff in terms of data privacy.”
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