DepEd warns against posting of learner’s information on social media

    MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) reminds the public from posting learners’ diplomas and Certificates of completion on social media.
    DepEd warns against posting of learner’s information on social media

    While many parents and learners are excited and proud of their accomplishments, DepEd warns that posting of photos or screenshots of documents containing sensitive information on social media is prohibited.

    DepEd published a bulletin via its microsite on “Posting of Learner Information on Social Media.” It stated that, “users must NOT post Learner Information System (LIS) screenshots or messages containing Learner Reference Numbers (LRN), names, documents, enrollment histories, and/or personally-identifiable information of learners in Facebook or any publicly available social media network, regardless of the settings of the post, group, or profile (Closed, Secret, etc.).”

    Sample of DepEd’s Diploma which contain “highly sensitive” information
    Sample of DepEd’s Diploma which contain “highly sensitive” information | Photo Courtesy: The Department of Education

    Sample of DepEd’s Diploma which contain “highly sensitive” information
    Sample of DepEd’s Certificates which contain “highly sensitive” information | Photo Courtesy: The Department of Education

    These documents include Certificates of completion, school cards and diplomas which bear the learner’s LRN, signatures of school officials, school’s name and more.

    DepEd considers such information as “highly classified,” meaning it should not be posted on social media “under any circumstances.”

    The education agency clarified that an exemption may be allowed if certain screenshots or information is important when making follow-ups to other schools. However, any learner information must be redacted (omitted, erased, blocked or blurred) prior to posting or at least send the photos through private messaging or email.

    DepEd warns, “All posts not complying with this rule constitute violation of relevant policies, and will be taken down ON SIGHT and WITHOUT WARNING.”

    Data Privacy Act

    The said policies are in compliance with existing laws and policies on data privacy and safeguarding.

    According to Department of Education’s (DepEd) Data Privacy Notice, the data and information they collected are protected and deemed confidential and private under the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10173).

    While the agency remains committed in ensuring “free flow of information” under the Freedom of Information Act (Executive Order No. 2, s. 2016), these information needs to be safeguarded for privacy.

    DepEd reiterates, “Only authorized DepEd personnel have access to personal information collected, the exchange of which will be facilitated through email and web applications. These will be stored in a database in accordance with government policies, rules, regulations, and guidelines."

    Dangers of posting diplomas and Certificates online

    Since it’s graduation season, sometimes parents and learners couldn’t help but share their achievements on social media. While it’s normal to post stories of success, posting photos of diplomas and Certificates are discouraged. Posting important information online might subject the learner, parents or even schools to possible dangers and problems.

    1. Every learner is issued a Learner Reference Number (LRN). This number is permanent and will be used throughout the entire basic education program. This is also used to easily track the learner’s historical school records, including personal information such as birthdate, address, parents’ name, nationality. Such information could easily be used for crimes like “identity theft” or “fraud.” An individual can maliciously take on another person’s identity to obtain benefits or have access to personal accounts. By posting diplomas or Certificate online, someone might take advantage of your school records and identity and fraudulently claim it as their own.

    2. Diplomas and Certificates bear the learner's full name and the school’s name and address. Anyone can easily locate the learner’s whereabouts and location and make them easy targets for people with criminal intent.

    3. The names and signatures of school administrators and principals, including the logo and headers of the school also appear in the diploma and Certificates. These can easily be copied and edited and be used to ask for solicitations or worse, even extortion.

    4. Diploma and Certificate can easily be copied and reproduced with malicious intent. They can create fake copies and pass it on to fraudsters.

    While it may seem tempting to post these documents on social media as rewards of their success, it’s still important to prioritize the welfare and safety of learners.

    — Sally, The Summit Express
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