Back to School: Understanding Edtech Privacy Policies
Listen and learn : Panel
Monday, June 25, 10:30–11:30 am
Bill Fitzgerald Michael Hawes Sara Kloek Amelia Vance
|Attendee devices:||Devices not needed|
|Topic:||Safety, security and student data privacy|
|ISTE Standards:||For Administrators:
Digital Age Learning Environments
Our panel will explain the Student Privacy Pledge and the process FPF facilitates in working with companies to ensure compliance. In so doing, it will explain the common pitfalls and best practices in ed tech privacy policies; important normative and legal considerations in the handling of student data; and allow audience members to see for themselves the objectives and perspectives of the different stakeholders involved. FPF’s Student Privacy Pledge application process fosters improved privacy practices in the collection and handling of student data by educational technology vendors, and facilitates greater accountability by companies, better transparency over their practices, and gives increased control to parents over their childrens’ information.
Many companies want to do the right thing, but are unfamiliar with the nuances of the privacy laws in this area, or with how to implement privacy safeguards more generally. New start-ups might have innovative plans for a tool that could be wonderfully helpful for students, but they don’t have the legal experience (or wherewithal) to consider the range of regulatory and normative problems created by the collection or use of oceans of student data. The Pledge provides guidance through a list of positive suggestions (as well as prohibitions), and we further assist companies in reaching compliance with the Pledge.
As enormous data breaches continue to make headlines, it’s crucial to be aware of the approach a company takes towards collection, retention, and protection of data—particularly when that data belongs to students. Parents are wary of their childrens’ data being collected (see “Parents cite student privacy concerns with popular online education platform” (Sept. 5, 2017, Washington Post) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/08/30/parents-cite-student-privacy-concerns-with-popular-online-education-platform/?utm_term=.95446b617815).
126 state privacy laws have passed in 40 states, making effective compliance very difficult for even the most established companies (report from the student privacy group Data Quality Campaign: https://dataqualitycampaign.org/resource/2016-student-data-privacy-legislation/).
FPF has written a number of white papers on the importance of student privacy:
--FPF Guide to Protecting Student Data Under SOPIPA: For K-12 School Administrators and Ed Tech Vendors (Nov. 2016) (https://fpf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SOPIPA-Guide_Nov-4-2016.pdf)
--Supporting Parental Choice for Student Data (Sept. 2016) (https://fpf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Parental-Choice_Sept2016.pdf)
--Survey: Beyond the Fear Factor: Parental Support for technology and data use in schools (Sept. 2015) (https://fpf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Parental-Choice_Sept2016.pdf)
FPF also manages FERPA|SHERPA, a website that provides service providers, parents, school officials, and policymakers easy access to laws, best practices, and guidelines that are essential to understanding education privacy (https://ferpasherpa.org/).