What are Katy ISD and Sungard doing with our children’s personal information?

Last week I received a letter from the Katy Independent School District (Katy ISD), informing me about a potential data exposure by Sungard K-12, who provides services for Katy ISD’s student data management system.

Privacy is a matter of utmost importance, particularly when it involves our children. I appreciate that Katy ISD is notifying parents about this data exposure, however, notifying us is not enough.

As someone who has worked in the technology sector all my life, I am appalled to read what had happened.

This is not the result of some targeted effort to expose our children’s personal information, like a Russian hack on election information. Rather, it seems to come as a result of unprofessional and careless handling of our children’s information by Sungard.

The letter states the following:

“An employee of Sungard K-12 mistakenly copied a file containing Katy ISD data from the database into a standard installation pack for an information security software application”.

Why is an employee of Sungard K-12 copying a file with production data containing sensitive personal information into another installation pack, that is subsequently distributed to who knows how many other school districts in the country?

Let me bring this into perspective.

Katy ISD has over 70,000 of our kids in their care, and Sungard is a multi-billion dollar company, with thousands of employees, and hundreds of millions in yearly profits. Sungard K-12 software is used by nearly 1,400 school districts, and impacting one out of every six students throughout the country. We must demand that Katy ISD and Sungard are held to higher standards when it comes to handling of our children’s personal information. I look forward to hearing what Katy ISD will do next to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

And lastly, to all news outlets out there complaining about falling revenues and layoffs — where in the world have you been, since you are not covering this?

Page 1 of the letter received from Katy Independent School District. Page 2 was about a one year free membership to LifeLock, a great future business development opportunity gift from Katy ISD to LifeLock.
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