Aug 312014
 August 31, 2014  Posted by  U.S., Workplace

Sarah Bowman reports:

Three weeks after Beaufort County School District teachers traveled to West Africa, several school board members and parents question the way the district handled public information about Ebola concerns.


Board of Education member JoAnn Orischak said balancing public knowledge and employee privacy is difficult.

“The district would never be able to tell you if they tested someone, because of all the guidelines surrounding medical privacy,” she said. “But I want to ask, what would have been the harm in acknowledging they were there, while not providing any identifiable information?”

School board member Jim Beckert raised similar questions. He said he was surprised by the casual manner in which Moss raised the issue of Ebola and the procedures to address it in a public setting, immediately after a board workshop in early August.

Beckert acknowledged the need to protect employee privacy, but said he also understands the public’s need for information pertaining to public health.

Read more on The Beaufort Gazette.

Aug 312014
 August 31, 2014  Posted by  Breaches

Darren Pauli reports:

Naked photos of US celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Ariana Grande have been published online by an anonymous hacker who reportedly obtained the explicit pics from the victims’ Apple iCloud accounts.

Nude photos of 17 celebrities have been published online. The anonymous hacker posting on grime-‘n-gore board 4Chan claimed to have naked pics on more than 100 celebrities in total.

Lawrence’s publicist Bryna Rifkin confirmed the validity of the photos and condemned their publication.

“This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence,” Rifkin told Buzzfeed.

Read more on The Register.

Aug 312014
 August 31, 2014  Posted by  Breaches, Business, Court, U.S., Workplace

Shawn Tuma writes:

Can an Employee Really Can Steal Your Data and Then SLAPP You for It?

Yes, in California it just happened!

The fact that this happened in California should be of no comfort to Texas businesses, however, because the Texas Anti-SLAPP law comes from California and, therefore, California jurisprudence is considered persuasive authority in Texas. This means that in the not so distant future Texas employees could steal their employers’ data and then SLAPP them for it as well. Many other states have anti-SLAPP laws that are derivative of California’s as well.

Let’s look at a case study to demonstrate what I’m talking about.

Case Study: Emanuel Medical Center, Inc. v. Dominique, 2014 WL 4239346 (Cal. App. Aug. 27, 2014)


Aug 312014
 August 31, 2014  Posted by  U.S., Youth & Schools

Ellen Meder reports:

 Schools inevitably amass a lot of information about their students: name, contact information, medical information and all the tidbits that make up an educational record.

How and when that information can shared is tightly restricted on by the federal law Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). When personal information is shared with an unauthorized person, it’s supposed to be taken seriously.

But should a small, but regrettable, breach in protocol end the career of an educator with an otherwise exemplary record?

That is the root of some controversy plaguing Florence School District 1 right now. This month the school board voted to uphold an administrative decision to demote former West Florence High School Assistant Principal Robin Voss after it came to light in April that she had forwarded three emails containing student information outside the district to her then-fiancé, now wife, a teacher in a neighboring school district.

It’s interesting that the reporter chooses to preface the scenario by describing it as a “small, but regrettable, breach in protocol.” Why not describe it as a “willful violation of students’ privacy that affected three students”?


And not for nothing, this case is another reminder why parents should periodically request inspection all of their child’s records under FERPA.