On Wednesday, November 10, 2010, a break-in occurred at Prince of Wales Public School. A vice-principal’s laptop was stolen from a locked office. The police were called, a report was taken and the investigation is ongoing.
Although the laptop was password protected, there is a risk that information stored on it may be accessed by individuals who do not have the right to that information. In keeping with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the school board has a responsibility to protect personal student information. In cases where there could be a privacy breach or unauthorized access to that information, the school board must notify those who may be affected.
An internal investigation revealed that the laptop may have contained student information dating back to 2005. Those students may now be in secondary school. The investigation also revealed that information stored on the laptop included various photographs of students engaging in school related activities from September 2009 to November 2010. In no instances were the first and last names of students associated with these photographs. The laptop may have also contained some internal communications with respect to individual students, such as the student’s name and notations regarding educational needs.
Letters of explanation have been mailed to parents/guardians of students who are now at the following schools:
- Hillcrest School and Prince of Wales Public School in Belleville
- Madoc Public School
- Former Madoc Public School students currently at Centre Hastings Secondary School
Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board takes its responsibility to protect student personal information very seriously. This theft and potential privacy breach has been reported to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario.
For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613-966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, extension 2354, [email protected]