To Body Cam or Not, That is the Question

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Monday, September 28, 2015

Body cameras on institutional law enforcement have become all the rage nationally... Higher education is not an exception in this landscape. Sometimes cities within cities, universities and colleges require law enforcement just as they require physical power plants, facility, food and service management.

Will big data make kids smarter?

Fred Churchvill, Tech Target SOA Blog,  Saturday, September 26, 2015

Unfortunately, at the moment, the field of education is “almost a data-free zone,” according to Henry Kelley, former chief scientist at the Energy Policy and Systems Analysis (EPSA), saying that the space is plagued by small sample sizes, flawed methods and a lack of testing methods that generate needed data. But big data is making an entrance nonetheless.

Cloud Computing and Research Data

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review the Business Associate’s Agreement (BAA) because there is vendor variation among them. Not all BAAs are alike. Some fully meet legal requirements to protect the institution, and others not so much. It is critical to test the veracity of the statements and commitments made in BAAs with third-party audits, for example a successful ISO audit w/27018 controls as a decent proxy for HIPAA privacy and security rule requirements. Careful attention to the quality of these documents will lower institutional risk and raise the bar among vendors. These efforts will continue an on-going process of harmonizing standards in cloud computing contracts. Make sure your legal counsel has seen the BAA, been in contact with the leading attorneys who set the bar for appropriate or consult NACUA or ACE documents designed for this purpose.

Using Student Medical Records: Department of Education Issues New Guidance

Paul Lannon, Holland & Knight,  Wednesday, September 02, 2015

When is it legal and proper for higher education institutions to use student medical records other than for a student's healthcare? In answering that question, institutions have to balance students' privacy interests, including federal rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), against legitimate institutional needs. Finding the right balance is not always easy, as highlighted by recent well-publicized cases. Too much access may facilitate misuse or discourage students from seeking campus-based medical services, while too little access may deprive an institution of information important to satisfying a legal obligation or responding effectively to a health or safety emergency.

Survey: 87 Percent of Parents Are Concerned About Student Data Security

Christopher Piehler, THE Journal,  Monday, August 31, 2015

The Future of Privacy Forum has released new survey data showing that a large majority of parents are concerned about the level of student data privacy and security in America’s K-12 schools. According to the survey, 87 percent of parents expressed concern that their child’s electronic education records could be hacked or stolen. For this reason, 85% of parents said that their willingness to support the use of student data and technology in education must be coupled with efforts to ensure security. When asked if they are “comfortable with [a] properly protected electronic education record being created for my child,” 71 percent replied that they were. The survey, which was conducted online this spring by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Future of Privacy Forum, included 1,002 parents in the United States with children 17 and under.

Body Cameras Are in Schools Now—but Who Do They Really Protect?

Rebecca McCray, Take Part,  Thursday, July 09, 2015

The call for body cameras on law officers has grown louder amid deadly incidents of police violence in the last year. Police have been the primary focus of the debate, but now a school district in Iowa has decided its principals will wear clip-on cameras when interacting with students and parents. Burlington Community School District is the first in the country to adopt body cameras for its officials, though equipping school police with the devices has already sparked a debate about student privacy.

A New—Cloud—Seal of Approval

Julie Anderson by Julie Anderson, AG Strategy Group
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

By procuring technology platforms that are compliant with ISO 27018, school districts can further protect the privacy of students. Just as a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval signals to consumers the quality of a product, technology platforms labeled with the phrase “ISO 27018 compliant” provides peace of mind to parents, teachers, and schools.

When Guarding Student Data Endangers Valuable Research

Susan Dynarski, New York Times,  Monday, June 15, 2015

Privacy laws have already been strengthened in some states, and multiple bills now pending in state legislatures and in Congress would tighten the security and privacy of student data. Some of this proposed legislation is so broadly written, however, that it could unintentionally choke off the use of student data for its original purpose: assessing and improving education. This data has already exposed inequities, allowing researchers and advocates to pinpoint where poor, nonwhite and non-English-speaking children have been educated inadequately by their schools.

Ed Tech Must Embrace Stronger Student Privacy Laws

Bradley Shear by Bradley Shear, Law Office of Bradley S. Shear
Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Educational technology companies should embrace and advocate for stronger student privacy laws because this will signal to parents that their services can be trusted to protect children's personal information. Stronger student privacy laws are coming, and the sooner that the industry acknowledges and embraces privacy by design, the faster these technologies will be deployed. Without parental support, school districts will not spend the funds to build the infrastructure they need for new and innovative digital technologies. In conclusion, more robust privacy protections will encourage parents to ask their school districts to use new digital learning tools that will help students compete in the 21st century. Supporting more comprehensive privacy protections for our children is not just right ethically, it is also the right business decision.

Considering accessibility as part of the public procurement process is an absolute must

Tracy Mitrano, Supply Management (UK),  Thursday, May 28, 2015

Making technology accessible to all, especially in today’s digital era, is critical to ensuring every person can live an informed, content-rich and fulfilling life. But to truly promote digital inclusion, more consistent accessibility policies are needed across the board. Member states in the EU have an important opportunity to lead in this area and set accessibility standards globally.