Opinion: Student phone numbers are sensitive information and should be protected under FERPA

I will admit this — I have looked my name up on Google in the past, multiple times. Some of the search results that come up make me feel quite proud of whatever I have done in life so far, while others make me turn red in embarrassment. However, one day, I found something that ticked me off.

I found my name listed on the University’s public directory and at first, I was not too bothered by it, but upon further inspection, I found my phone number as part of the listing. My phone number was out there for anyone to see. Out of curiosity, I decided to look up some of my friends — whose numbers I had — and sure enough, their numbers were out in the public too. The fact that I could find the numbers so easily made me think that literally anybody could access these numbers, and it scared me.

In today’s digital age, phone numbers are often connected to sensitive personal information. The public availability of phone numbers could easily enable someone to hijack the number, thus gaining access to emails, social media accounts and even bank details. Most attacks are likely to catch the victim unawares, with a sense of realization dawning on them only when it is too late.

Read the full article at: https://www.dailycardinal.com/article/2020/01/phone-numbers-should-be-protected-under-ferpa