Orgsync’s privacy settings overridden to protect student information

Karla Enriquez

Kinesiology major Julia Plecnik doesn’t mind if her information is shared with other students to see on campus engagement community Orgsync.

At the beginning of fall semester, students with public profiles didn’t realize that Orgsync displayed their personal information.

The platform is used by campus departments, organizations and clubs to digitally connect and organize students.

“I don’t care, people can find you online, they can search for you on Google and find you on the White Pages,” Plecnik stated.

Information, such as the person’s phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address, was visible for others to see.

The privacy settings were changed by Orgsync by overriding the system and information is no longer visible.

Student Activities Coordinator Amna Jara said, “So what happened was, when students were creating their profiles they were making their profiles public, so just like Facebook when you create your public profile anybody has access to it.

“What students didn’t realize is that when they made their account public [people] could go to Orgsync.com, look up the Cerritos College community and look up memberships and be able to get their e-mail address if they had their account public.

“Most people made their accounts private so nobody could see their personal contact information, but what I’ve done is I had Orgsync override, even if students say that they want their account public. I don’t think they understand what that really means, so Orgsync is overriding their public account to not show their personal information.

However, there is at least one student profile whose full information is still displayed.

Journalism major Peter Choi said, “I decided to make it public.”

Choi said he made the choice to leave his profile public because he wanted to be more available to other students.

Not everyone on campus felt at ease over the former Orgsync privacy settings.

Speech pathology major Synthia Rios said, “You’re basically giving away your privacy, your information is in the hands of people you don’t know.”

Kinesiology major Jose Lopez agreed, “I think that information shouldn’t be available to everyone whether it be mail or e-mail and everyone should be aware.”

Some students felt that having this information public could have been dangerous.

Biochem major Cynthia Robles said, “That’s giving out private information that can make me vulnerable.”

Jara expressed that she doesn’t think there is a need for a student’s personal information to appear on the system when contact is readily available through the online community.

Orgsync has a messaging feature where students can get in touch with each other should they see the need.

The platform has been available for Cerritos College students since spring 2016 and has picked up momentum in the fall semester as Jara moved to a paperless only system.