Data breaches, cyber hacks and ransom notes…in Schools.

Data breaches, cyber hacks and ransom notes…in Schools.

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About two weeks later, the school sent home a form asking parents to permit the program to take photographs of students.

There was no mention in the header of the form of the school or classes that my grandson was taking.  The header read “New York City Department of Education” and further down in the consent form was mention that the signee was giving the “City of New York” permission to use the photograph as and where the City of New York sees along with an agreement from parent(s) of upon signature having no more say in the matter. Wth?

That form went into the garbage.

The following week, I received a parental consent form for a school trip.  There was absolutely no mention of anything else but the trip, time, location, my grandson’s name and class so that form I signed and returned.

Three days later I received four more parental consent slips in different colors, varying degrees of language relevant (or the school would have me believe) to one other trip.  (Why four forms for one trip?) Those forms went into the trash and by coincidence, the trip that allegedly warranted 4 forms never took place.

Mind you, my grandson was taking a five-week course in a school that he does not attend year-round and may never walk into again.  I counted 6 or 7 forms that the school expected parents to complete and return; and those are the forms that my grandson gave me or fell out of his pocket.  And then, I suspect are the forms that he left laying around somewhere and failed to give me.

Where am I going?  Why must students, parents and guardians part with so much information?

Okay, I know the answer data collection.  Well then, who is safeguarding this information and how can they be held accountable?

Missouri Education Watchdog by Cheri Kiesecker

Who is legally liable for k-12 student data privacy and security?

K-12 students and parents are hostage to the data overlords. No, I mean really,  hostage, in every sense.  As Natasha Singer points out here  and here, “BigData” and edtech have taken over our classrooms.  Schools and students are held hostage,  literally.  Imagine being a parent in the Montana school district of Columbia Falls,  where students’ school security camera footage, student and staff personal records including name, age, address, counselor records, IEP status and more was recently hacked by a (yet to be captured) cyber terrorist(s),  who has sent ransom notes to the school and sent texts directly to the parents, threatening to harm their children.   What?  you haven’t heard about this hack?   Read more about this story here and here (and read the full ransom letter that caused a three day shut-down of 30+ schools in this district).  A short excerpt from the hacker ransom note follows below.

Columbia Falls isn’t the first community where this has happened and there are other active investigations…”

“…We know who you are, Columbia Falls. We know everything about your operation. We know everything about your schools and the children in them. Your nursery children, your primary children, and your secondary children. We know who the problem children are, who the honour performing children are, and even who many of the parents are. We have educated ourselves and made ourselves aware of your entire lives. Today, we’re invading your lives and offices in the form of a letter filled with verbose, condescending, and abusive language. Yikes, right?…

We are sure that by now you are wondering who this internet stranger is. We are thedarkoverlord and it’s a pleasure to finally be speaking directly with you, Columbia Falls, under our real identity. (You may remember us as that pesky telephone number of XXXXXXXXXX). If  you receive a message from us, it means you have been completely and thoroughly attacked and breached by an organised entity of creatures who are motivated only by their love for internet money and are responsible for some of the most serious breaches and security violation incidents in the last year[…]

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