An incident has come to my attention that all parents Ulster County BOCES region should be aware of. There has been possible breach/exposure of student information by New Wave Technologies, a vendor providing web based technologies to teachers for use in schools. The story is developing. Please see below for what we know right now.
It has come to light that Ulster County BOCES shared private student data with a for profit company NewWay Technologies to develop “new data visualization tools” that would allow teachers to analyze student test scores on iPhones, tablets, and computers.
National renowned student data privacy advocate Leonie Haimson discovered that New Way Technology was using the names and data of Ulster County students in it’s promotional videos which were taken down on September 29th. Numerous screenshots reveal the names of real students from districts throughout Ulster County. Each name is associated with an id number, a test score, and a school/school district.
While it appears that the real student names have been assigned to fake school districts or districts other than the one they attend, it is unclear if the test scores and student IDs have been changed.
This egregious violation raises many questions- Why would Ulster Boces share private, personally identifiable student data with a for-profit company? How and where else has this data been shared? In 2014 Rondout Valley CSD purchased this technology which was created by a partnership between New Way Technologies and Ulster Boces Superintendent Charles Khoury.
According to a 2014 press release on the company’s website:
“Dr. Charles Khoury, District Superintendent of Ulster BOCES, partnered with NewWay Technologies to develop new data visualization tools, using modern analytic technology, to present student state assessment data in a clean, easy to use, simplified meaningful way on any device (PC, MAC, iPad or any mobile device). … About Ulster BOCES: Ulster BOCES serves 8 component districts, Ellenville, Highland, Kingston, New Paltz, Onteora, Rondout Valley, Saugerties, and Wallkill. “
The extent to which student information is being shared and whether they are using real student test score data along with the student names is not yet known.
More information will be released when it becomes available.