Chandigarh: Data of school students sold to coaching centres

January 8, 2020

Students’ data, including their names, school name, phone number, roll number, parents details, salary details, address, as well as social media profile could be up for sale for as little as Rs 4 to Rs 6 per child, according to Hindustan Times. Sold to various agencies for marketing, the entire amount in some cases goes up to Rs 28,000. Sources further revealed the data was of around 7,000 students studying in 26 different schools of tricity (Chandigarh-Mohali-Panchkula).

About 14 to 15 salespersons employed by various coaching centres in Chandigarh’s Sector 34, said they had access to data of students collected from various schools. Senior advocate HC Arora said called it a gross violation of Article 19 of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child that assures member countries shall ensure there is no exploitation of children. He added, “it also exposes children to crime by antisocial elements, particularly female child. It is a very serious matter.”

HS Mamik, director of Vivek High School (VHS) said he was shocked to hear about the leak from the school and would lodge an FIR with Punjab police. He added, “Our investigations reveal that this data belongs to VHS Mohali. It is a very serious offence. We will also investigate the matter on our own.”

The Chandigarh Parents Association (CPA) said the students’ privacy was being violated. Nitin Goyal, president, CPA, said, “Parents after trusting the school share their personal details, including annual income, marital status, address and social media profile during admissions. These are minute details of their personal life as well as those of their children.”

Jatinder Chopra, a parent whose data was accessed by HT, said his mobile phone was bombarded with messages from coaching centres and termed it as “serious breach of privacy.” While another parent said, “My child is in plus-one medical and now I understand why I have been getting so many calls on my number. This is really worrisome.”

Omvir Bishnoi, DIG Chandigarh, said he would look at the data before commenting on the matter.

Source: Hindustan Times

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