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Breach of Student Data

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by undiwear, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    I found that a school has uploaded photos of students on social media which includes personal information and which breaches the Data Protection Act.

    Who, besides the school, could I contact with this information?
  2. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    The office of the Information Commissioner.

    theworm123 likes this.
  3. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    I think contacting the school in the first instance was the correct thing to do. How much personal information was disclosed should inform whether you need to contact someone else. If it is their home addresses, perhaps their local authority as will the head or more likely admin team pick this up over a weekend.

    It depends how much personal information and whether it is a child protection matter.
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide


    (1) What personal information has been included with the photographs?

    (2) Are any of the photos of your own children? If not what is your connection with the school?

    (3) Who has advised you it is a breach of the Data Protection Act?

    (4) Have parents given permission for school to post photographs of their children?
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    You or a concerned parent can inform Ofsted if you feel it is serious enough...
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    More detailed info on this ICO page


    @undiwear must raise it with the school first though. ICO will not get involved unless the complaint is made to the school first.

    Unless the personal information is about undiwear or undiwear's own children I'm not sure if either the school or the ICO has to deal with the complaint - it's not undiwear's data that had been published, it's someone else's. It's not clear from ICO site.

    Safeguarding might be a better avenue of approach for undiwear but with so little information impossible to say if there's any safeguarding issues involved.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  7. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    The school has published photos of individuals (under 18) holding up their exam results - the sheet the student receives with all the identifying information on the sheet - it is easy to read all the details on a smart phone. One photo has the head teacher shaking a student's hand.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    A great many schools have done this...for a great many years.

    What is your link with the school and why does such an activity bother you?
    Pomz, Piranha, wanet and 1 other person like this.
  9. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    Do you think because many schools have done it for many years it makes it ok?
    Does this sort of activity not bother you?
    What is your reason for commenting since your comment is neither warranted or useful? <rhetorical question>
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide


    Personally I think it's very unlikely that any breach of DPA has occurred but even if it has it's the people whose data it is who need to complain and ask for their data to be removed. If there is no data of yours or your own children involved you have no legal standing for asking the school to remove it. Do you know for certain that the the school hasn't received permission from the students' parents?

    The ICO says it's a common and accepted practice that is not prohibited by the Data Protection Act.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
    Flere-Imsaho likes this.
  11. teacher_new81

    teacher_new81 New commenter

    Sounds like a busybody. Sorry but this has happened even when I was at school. Celebrating success and photographs of the children with their results. Never once heard of this as a data breach.

    Get a life.
    Pomz, Piranha, DYNAMO67 and 1 other person like this.
  12. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    fail to see how a photo of a HT shaking a pupil's hand breaches the data protection act............
    swampyjo, Lalad, Pomz and 5 others like this.
  13. brighton56

    brighton56 Occasional commenter

    Most secondary schools will have had the exact same style of photograph - headteacher with pupils holding up certificates/result papers. It is unfortunate if the photograph shows any particular details on the paper. Unlikely you can see any personal details apart from grades?

    You should always contact the school in the first instance if you are concerned.

    A headteacher shaking hands with a pupil is perfectly acceptable!
    Pomz and install like this.
  14. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    "Unlikely you can see any personal details apart from grades?"
    Yes you can read the students' candidate number for example.

    "A headteacher shaking hands with a pupil is perfectly acceptable!"
    "Sounds like a busybody"

    Of course it is perfectly acceptable. But if the head teacher is posing in a photo where information can be stolen and used in identity theft, you would think that people on this board and head teachers were better informed about how to protect students and themselves of this risk.

    So I can assume that no other useful information is available on this page.

    Thanks to all who provided useful feedback. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
  15. bobtes

    bobtes New commenter

    our HT was hugging a pupils in one of the photos......mind you, she is his daughter :D
    install likes this.
  16. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Wow! Call the police immediately.
  17. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I can't agree it's not an issue and just par for the course, like other posters, because we haven''t actually seen the same image as you, so we don't know what's on it.
    However, why would you want to contact anybody else than the school, other than to stir up trouble for somebody?
    Just state your concerns to HT, who will look at it and deal with it accordingly.
    You don't actually need to come and ask a bunch of strangers if anybody would be interested in the bad this HT has done, and then get flouncy like this

    Just deal with this honestly and directly; speak to the person who allowed this to happen. Not only will this fix any problems, but it also demonstrates a genuine concern of yours, rather than a hope of getting somebody into trouble, which is how your opening post comes across. Forgive me if I misunderstood; if you cannot take on board actual perceptions of your post, then perhaps you could explain your motivation here so we can understand you properly.
    brighton56 likes this.
  18. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I'm not sure how useful a student's GCSE candidate number would be in terms of identity theft!
  19. brighton56

    brighton56 Occasional commenter

    Aunty Sue, Uncle Bernard, Cousin Lottie and Pippin the dog.
  20. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Is the candidate number the only example? If so, I really think you're worrying about nothing.

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