NYC Teachers’ Social Security Numbers Exposed
In January, students at Brooklyn Technical High School reportedly uncovered a Google Drive containing sensitive documents uploaded by staff and students at schools across NYC. The documents included college recommendation letters, classwork, parent-teacher conference sign-up sheets, and more. The students raised the alarm on the data breach, which involved teachers’ personal information, yet say that they were ignored for months. The students found that they were able to access the files due to an issue in the education department’s Google Drive sharing settings. Anyone with an email address provided by the education department could find the files.
The students allegedly arranged a meeting with a senior staff member at the school, detailing the data breach. The students, who chose to remain anonymous, checked Google Drive again in March and found that even more documents were accessible. This time, they were able to view payroll documents that contained teachers’ salary information, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, and addresses. In March, the students notified three officials at the department of the data breach via email. The department has since confirmed the data leak, which impacted roughly 3,000 students and 100 employees.