“Posting Student Grades in a Group Chat is a Violation of Human Rights,” Finds NHRCK
-NHRCK recommends University A to take action to prevent recurrence of such incidents-
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea has decided that the disclosure of student grades in an online group chat amounts to a violation of personality rights and the right to privacy, protected under the Constitution, and recommended the President of University A to take action to prevent similar human rights violations from occurring again.
The complainant filed a complaint with the Commission, claiming that a professor of University A posted student grades in a group chat of the mobile messaging app KakaoTalk.
The respondent said in response to the complaint that the grades shared with the group members were for tests designed to promote learning and not the final grades.
The Commission, however, is of the view that a grade or score can have an impact on an individual’s reputation, if displayed publicly, and should be treated as personal information that is not disclosed to a third party as students are generally allowed access to their own grades to check their academic performance.
The Second Committee on Remedies for Human Rights Violations has concluded that the respondent could have used email or other communication channels to avoid the public disclosure of personal information and the act of posting grades along with the complainant and other students‘ names in a group chat does not effectively serve the intended purpose of notifying a student‘s level of achievement.