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School psychologist’s student records accidentally posted online – Boston.com

School psychologist’s student records accidentally posted online – Boston.com

File this under the category of “Oooops, just like every other company or organization tasked with ensuring the privacy and security of our financial or health records, we screwed up!”

Of course, this wasn’t a failure of the technology (as it rarely is). This was a failure of understanding where the file transfers were going to and not removing files that were supposed to be put some place just temporarily. Basically, laziness by the practitioner, and sloppy oversight by the IT department.

The lesson here is simple — no matter what kinds of controls, checks and balances you build into your network, there’s always going to be the human factor that you will have a lot of difficulty designing for. User case scenarios, of course, help in determining what these factors are, but I know that outside of the software and Web design world, few folks know of them or understand their value.

A school psychologist’s records detailing students’ confidential information and personal struggles were accidentally posted to the school system’s Web site and were publicly available for at least four months.

A reporter for The Salem News discovered the records last week and alerted school officials, the newspaper said in a story Friday.

To protect students’ privacy, the newspaper said it withheld publishing the story until the documents were removed from the Internet, which occurred Wednesday.

School psychologist’s student records accidentally posted online – Boston.com

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.


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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). School psychologist’s student records accidentally posted online – Boston.com. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 25, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/school-psychologists-student-records-accidentally-posted-online-bostoncom/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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