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data security risk for schools

7 September 2012

Schools are increasingly collecting personal data, including biometrics (to be covered by a law change which will require parental permission from September 2013). Those schools handling or storing this data are not always taking account of the additional and stringent security requirements that apply.

In a recent paper presented at the British Educational Research Association's annual conference it was found that a large number of schools did not have data protection policies and many schools technical security arrangements were below the minimum.

The consequences of data falling into the wrong hands can be serious, both in terms of reputational damage and financial cost. The Information Commissioner’s Office is not shy of fining public bodies for Data Protection Act breaches and with the increasing use of biometrics and collection of personal data in education, schools need to ensure their policies and procedures are robust.

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