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JUST IN: APS Informs Parents of Limited Data Breach

(Updated at 7:30 p.m.) An “error” in the data inputted to the college readiness system used by Arlington Public Schools may have exposed the name, address, grade point average and college entrance exam scores of nearly two dozen students to an unrelated parent.

Superintendent Patrick Murphy was sending a message, below, to all secondary (grades 6-12) families Friday morning informing them of the breach, an APS spokesman told ARLnow.

“For each of these students, one APS parent, who is not the student’s parent, may have been able to view” the information, Murphy wrote.

A spokeswoman for Naviance, the company that makes the system involved, said the error was on the part of APS.

“This was an error in the data and not an error in Naviance functionality,” said Monica Morrell, a general manager for the company. “The data has since been corrected, and we understand that Arlington Public Schools has notified the impacted and potentially impacted individuals.”

The full letter from APS:

Dear APS Students and Families:

On April 11, 2019, APS was made aware of an error in the Naviance college readiness system that may have temporarily allowed access to some personal information of former students. Upon further investigation with Naviance, we confirmed that the error affected 21 former students who departed APS prior to 2017. For each of these students, one APS parent, who is not the student’s parent, may have been able to view some personal information. Viewable information was limited to the student’s name, address, grade, Grade-Point Average, PSAT/SAT and ACT scores.

Personal information such as date of birth, individual course grades, transcript, social security number or any financial information, was not able to be viewed. The information was not more broadly available to others using the system, nor to other individuals online. We cannot confirm that the information was viewed, only that it could have been viewed.

The Department of Information Services notified middle and high school families of a technical issue and disabled access to the system on April 12 as a security measure while the error was thoroughly investigated. The cause of the error, a data integration issue related to parent identification numbers in a legacy system, has been corrected and secure access has been restored to both students and parents.

Earlier this week, we mailed letters to inform the affected former students and their parents of the error and assure them their data has been secured. APS and our vendors take our responsibility to safeguard student information seriously, and we have taken the necessary steps to ensure the error will not recur.

If you have any concerns or questions about the incident, please do not hesitate to contact Rajesh Adusumilli, Assistant Superintendent, Information Services at 703-228-2016 or by email [email protected]

Sincerely,

Dr. Patrick Murphy
Superintendent
Arlington Public Schools

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