"The Department of Education has confirmed that one of its computer systems allowed unauthorized viewing of Social Security numbers. It's exactly what has worried Maine Civil Liberties Union chief Shenna Bellows, who opposes letting the department gather student Social Security numbers.Article from "Data Breach Exposes Maine Students' Social Security Numbers", The Maine Public Broadcasting Network, September 29, 2010.
"You can make these systems safer, but you can't make them 100 percent safe," she says. "Experience shows that data bases are vulnerable to breach, therefore, any government agency needs to be very careful about information it's collecting and why it's collecting that information."
For now, state Education Commissioner Angela Faherty has ordered Social Security numbers in its system deleted and told school districts not to forward any more information.
The state wants to use the Social Security numbers to track student achievement over years. But several school districts, including Portland, have balked at gathering the data."
Monday, October 4, 2010
Maine Students' Social Security Numbers at Risk