Monday, August 1, 2011

Killeen ISD student records found "blowing in the wind"

Originally published 3/28/11 on

Andy Ross of the Killeen Daily Herald reports that Killeen Independent School District documents containing students identifying information, including Social Security numbers, were found "blowing in the wind."

According to a school district spokesperson, the school district doesn't have policies on shredding documents. It hasn't used Social Security numbers to identify students since 2008, so these documents may be older than that. Not that it matters, since about the only way you can change your Social Security number is to go into the Witness Protection program.

The school district does have guidelines regarding personal information on staff and students, but if it doesn't include shredding documents before disposal it doesn't mean much. Dumpster diving is still one of the best ways to get information on individuals or businesses - and apparently these records weren't even in a dumpster.

There are state and federal laws covering the use of student data. I suspect some of them may have been broken here, but whether it was the school or someone they payed to dispose of the records I have no idea.

I wonder what policies and procedures LISD has in place to protect and properly dispose of student records? I hope that LISD's policies are more comprehensive and better enforced that those in Killeen.