Monday, 13 January 2014

400+ Personal Details Left on Public Server by School

The names and contact details of over 400 students has been left in a file on the shared drive at Hampstead school. The list, named 'Mailmerge', was found by Trash Reporters in recent weeks. The list contained students' names, parents' names, addresses, phone numbers and in some cases emails.

As well as being a breach of the data protection act, pertaining to Local Authorities, it is highly immoral to leave other peoples' details in a place susceptible to copying. Not only is the list available to copy by any student at Hampstead, the students and their parents could be vulnerable to possible blackmailers, who could have had access to the list. As it is a shared area, all students could access the file. If you were in sixth form, of which there were roughly twenty names, would you want a year 7, that knows no bounds being able to contact you? It is distressing that a school, that is trusted by members of society and children, who are legally entrusted with personal details, would be so lackluster with such things, and would allow students to blackmail? Could you trust that school?

Once details such as the ones contained in the 'Mailmerge' list are out of privacy in this technological age, there is little to stop them. Even if the source file was deleted, the copies would still remain. It could be that your details are still kept on the hard drive of someone unknown. 

The Trash brought the issue to the attention of the school one week ago, and through Trash intervention, the file was successfully deleted from the shared server. However, the point still stands, that if we hadn't intervened in the situation, it would be only a matter of time before someone, perhaps less mature with the information, would have got their hands on it. 

We would implore the school to issue a letter of apology to all students, for the discrepancies on their behalf, and make a written promise to all current and future students and their families, that something like this will never happen again.

If you would like to find out if your details were/are on that list, you can contact us by emailing or you can directly message us on the Facebook page or through the Twitter Feed
The location in the Shared Area

To retain the anonymity of the people on the list, this image has had the names and personal details censored, and is
of a random point in the list.

DISCLAIMER: This Hampstead Trash article has been written to critique the actions of the governing bodies of the school. This is so student readers can hear both sides of the argument, and formulate their own opinions on matters pertaining to their education.

1 comment:

  1. Many schools deliberately give much of this information out to all pupils and parents by default, so I'm not sure it's really worth getting that worked up about.