Ten Oceanside students affected in NYSED vendor data breach


An unauthorized user may have had access to the personal information of ten Oceanside School No. 2 students State Education Department officials said on Jan. 18.

According to a news release, Questar Assessment Inc. the department’s vendor responsible for its grades three-through-eight computer-based testing, reported that 52 students across the state had been affected, and that the data had been accessed by what it believes to be a former employee.

“While we are thankful this incident is isolated to only a small portion of students, any breach of data is unacceptable and we are holding Questar accountable,” Department Commissioner Maryellen Elia said in a statement, adding that she had referred the case to the state attorney general’s office.

Questar reported that the data accessed included personally identifiable information such as student names, state identification numbers and school and teacher names. Questar, however, did not have access to information such as social security numbers and addresses, which department officials said they do not share with its vendors.

As of 10 p.m. on Jan. 18, Oceanside Schools Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Harrington posted a statement to the district’s website.

“The State Education Department is taking swift and strong measures to resolve the situation and ensure that it cannot happen again,” she wrote. “They will be providing the names of the students impacted to us directly, which I am still waiting for, and I will be contacting the families of these students once I have their names.”

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.