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Fairfax Schools Mistakenly Post Students' Personal Data Online

Nearly 700 Fairfax County Public Schools students had their home address and other personal information posted online.

Birth dates, home addresses and other personal information for nearly 700 Fairfax County public school students was mistakenly posted on the school system’s website, generating an apology Monday from school officials.

The Washington Post reports the data for 685 students who attend a summer arts program last July was posted in a document labeled “Sample Schedule” on the program’s website. The newspaper was tipped to the document and the personal information it housed last week; the file was taken off the website over the weekend.

The students’ personal information was online for about 24 hours, according to Fairfax schools spokesman John Torre.

“It shouldn’t have been up there at all,” Torre told the Post. “It was mistakenly posted. We want to apologize to the families for what occurred.”

Caroline Hockenberry’s son took part in the summer arts session, and his date of birth, home address and phone number appeared on the schools’ website.

“I can’t believe they did this — this is a huge error,” Hockenberry told the newspaper. “That's something they are always educating the kids about, not revealing that personal information online and being very careful. They are the schools and they should be protecting their identities.”

The mistake happened just weeks after Loudoun County student information was posted online in error. Some of that data, left unsecured on a software company Web site, included school evacuation plans and student locker combinations. And last summer, a Fairfax health department employee’s laptop, containing medical records for about 2,000 Fairfax County students, was stolen.


Shawn P. Beighle February 04, 2014 at 07:35 AM
Regretfully, this is one of the downsides to living in the digital age. ALL people make mistakes, but for all the good that technology does, it likewise amplifies our mistakes. People should be upset, I am, but they should also understand that mistakes like this will happen.

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