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The Forum Guide to Data Ethics
NCES 2010-801
March 2010

The Security Canons

School districts use data in countless ways, and data-related security issues arise quite frequently. One school district recently dealt with several ethical concerns related to data security:

  • A technician's error caused a server to crash after the network manager had
    forgotten to backup files, resulting in several thousand dollars being spent to
    restore lost data.
  • A personal friendship between a school board member and school principal led
    to informal data exchanges and, eventually, the inappropriate public release of
    confidential student data.

How should staff respond to these situations?
What principles should guide this decisionmaking?