Section 508, WCAG 2.0, Oh My!

Tracy Mitrano by Tracy Mitrano, Mitrano & Associates
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

About accessibility for higher education in the United States: I am concerned that our institutions have two sets of standards with which to comply and how higher education might respond to that fact. The first are section 508 standards of the Rehabilitation Act... The other set is that of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or “WCAG” 2.0.

Body-Worn Cameras: In Support of Justice on University Campuses

Tracy Mitrano by Tracy Mitrano, Mitrano & Associates
Monday, January 11, 2016

For higher education institutions, it is time to take a leadership role to ensure the strongest security protocols are in place for proper management of data produced by body-worn and surveillance cameras. In law enforcement, this is the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) security policy...

New data privacy legislation limits use of student data in California

California Lawyer Herald,  Monday, January 04, 2016

Technology companies in California are welcoming the New Year with some adjustments. The new California law limits the student information and other data that will be gathered. The said data privacy statute constrains operators and in-charge of education websites, web and other system applications, and online services to use student data often use in advertising.

2016: Year of Internet Standards

Tracy Mitrano by Tracy Mitrano, Mitrano & Associates
Monday, January 04, 2016

Five areas of Internet law and policy stand out: privacy, security, accessibility, intellectual property and governance. A central theme undergirds them all: standards. Hence I shall deem 2016 the Year of Internet Standards. Today I begin with privacy. Privacy is the most important area of law in the 21st century. It is brought to you by technology pushing the social norms envelope. It is also sufficiently comprehensive of a topic as to cover a wide swath of different types of law. Finally, privacy just might turn out to be the vocabulary that has the greatest chance to harmonize law and policy practices on the Internet.

Rewriting the Social Contract to Safeguard Student Data Privacy

Gee Kin Chou, edSurge,  Monday, January 04, 2016

Despite an unsettled regulatory environment, teachers and edtech companies can take some straightforward measures to encourage tech directors to allow a product onto the network. Without this collaboration, useful tools could be blocked and student access to valuable learning opportunities could be delayed or denied.

Data Breaches Put Spotlight on Growing Threats to Kids' Data Privacy

Robert Lemos, eWeek,  Friday, December 11, 2015

On Nov. 14, digital thieves breached two services at toy maker VTech, compromising the company's Learning Lodge app store and Kid Connect servers and accessing information on more than 6.3 million kids and their 4.8 million parents. While parents' accounts included names, email and IP addresses, password retrieval information, mailing addresses, download history and encrypted passwords, most of the children's data consisted only of their name, gender and birth date. In some cases, however, photos and unsent messages may have been stored as well, the company said in a statement.

State Student Privacy Laws: A Game-Changer for Service Providers

Michael Whitener, The Privacy Advisor - IAPP ,  Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Student data privacy legislation has been on a tear recently. At the state level, according to the Data Quality Campaign, this year 47 states have introduced 186 bills addressing student data privacy, and 15 states passed 28 new student data privacy laws. Much of this state legislation is modeled on California’s landmark Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA), which goes into effect on January 1, 2016. At the federal level, both the Senate and the House have responded to President Barack Obama’s call for enhancing student data safeguards under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) with new legislative proposals. If there’s one privacy goal that commands widespread political support, it’s the protection of student data.

An (Accessible) Future We Can All Be Proud Of

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Sunday, November 29, 2015

So how to celebrate International Day for People with Disabilities? Let’s begin with that which is obvious to fix: web accessibility. As I have commented upon before: we have standards that work but have lacked a hardy political will to put them in place. In the E.U. that wind is now shifting a bit. The European Commission has signaled very recently (since my last post on this subject) that it is now inclined to act. Once the E.U. promulgates a directive, it will then be up to member states to transpose that directive into national or “local” law.


Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Monday, November 16, 2015

Standards for body worn cameras on campus law enforcement. The CJIS Security Policy is a model whether one is investing in campus policy body cam video or not. It covers the general and fine points of policy governance, technical controls, training, education and awareness. Cloud computing procurement and contracts with vendors are interwoven into its directives rather than, as is the case with so many of our higher education ventures, an initiative that gets bolted onto policy written when on premise services were the norm. Although titled a “security policy” it weaves privacy practices into it. Surprisingly devoid of government speak, the prose is clear and organized.

The Learning Analytics Landscape: Tension Between Student Privacy and the Process of Data Mining

Jojo Manai, Carnegie Foundation,  Monday, November 09, 2015

Data mining is a powerful technology for recognizing useful patterns in complex data. It has repeatedly provided proven results in information systems. Its use has benefited many sectors, such as banking, retail, marketing, biology, medicine, telecommunication, and others, resulting in significant advancements for these industries. Lately, higher learning institutions have also been taking advantage of data mining techniques to further the field of education.