Federal Student-Data-Privacy Bill Delayed Following Criticism

Benjamin Herold, Education Week,  Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Introduction of a bill intended to establish a new level of federal involvement in the protection of K-12 students' privacy has been delayed following criticism that lawmakers fell well short of creating the strong national law for which advocates hoped. On Monday, U.S. Reps. Jared Polis, D-Colo., and Luke Messer, R-Ind., were poised to introduce the "Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act," developed in close consultation with the White House. But after critical press reports and concern from privacy advocates about the scope and rigor of a near-final draft of the bill, the lawmakers decided to hold off. A revised version of the proposed legislation is now expected to be made public later this week.

Boston parents overwhelmingly agree that schools should demand restrictions on data mining from Internet companies

SafeGov,  Monday, March 23, 2015

A survey of parents with school-age children in Boston shows parents see many benefits from in-school internet access, with more than 80 percent stating that in-school internet access helps students develop the necessary skills to gain employment and participate in the global economy. However, a majority of parents are unaware that technology companies may be tracking their children’s internet use at school. This demonstrates the importance of and need for stronger protections to prevent student data mining and online tracking in Boston schools. The findings are based on a survey conducted for SafeGov.org aimed at understanding Boston parents’ views on technology in the classroom and their awareness of student data mining.

A Message from Parents: Advertising and Education Do Not Mix

Jeff Gould by Jeff Gould, SafeGov.org
Monday, March 23, 2015

A new survey by privacy advocate SafeGov of parents in a large American city confirms what most sensible people already believed: parents want corporate-sponsored advertising out of our schools. After spending much of the past two years asking parents in a dozen foreign countries how they feel about online privacy and advertising in their children’s schools, SafeGov decided it was time to do a deep dive on this subject back home in the United States. They looked for a city with a progressive school district committed to bringing technology into the classroom. They chose Boston. The underlying insight of the project is that while the boom in classroom use of Internet apps based on technology originally designed for consumers has been largely beneficial for students, it has also led to a potentially dangerous confusion of business models. The power of Internet apps comes from their ability not only to deliver content quickly and efficiently to vast numbers of users, but also to track how those users interact with the content.

Student Privacy Vs. Police Accountability: The Controversy Of Body Cameras On School Cops

Sara Guaglione, iSchoolGuide,  Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Chad Marlow, the advocacy and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said body cameras allow the public to monitor police and hold law enforcement officers accountable, by obtaining and sharing footage through open-records laws. However, Marlow believes there is a difference between a general police officer wearing a body camera in public and a school cop recording students. Bill Vaughn, the chief of police in Johnston, Iowa, where the 6,700-student district's two school resource officers now wear body cameras, believes that the cameras can provide objective evidence for use in criminal proceedings, including those involving students, and could help refute or prove accusations of officer misconduct.

The Landscape of Student Digital Privacy Legislation

Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education,  Tuesday, March 10, 2015

This year, student data privacy is even more popular in legislatures across the country. As of March 6, just over three-quarters of states had introduced 138 bills dealing with student data privacy — a 25 percent increase over last year's bill count. Many of these bills build on the work that states already did in 2014, with legislators looking at both the governance and prohibition side of the issue. "The scope and number of bills really confirms how much of an ongoing conversation this is for states and how addressing privacy is something they'll be thinking about in different ways over the long term," said Rachel Anderson, a senior associate for policy and advocacy at the Data Quality Campaign who crunched the legislative numbers.

Body Cameras on School Police Spark Student Privacy Concerns

Evie Blad, Education Week,  Wednesday, March 04, 2015

As law-enforcement agencies around the country begin using body cameras to monitor police interactions with the public, the chest-mounted recording devices are increasingly making their way into public schools. The use of body cameras in schools has been welcomed by some, but it has also sparked privacy concerns from some districts and civil rights groups. "People tend to be on their best behavior when they know they're being recorded," said Bill Vaughn, the chief of police in Johnston, Iowa, where the 6,700-student district's two school resource officers now wear body cameras.

Kudos to the FCC

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wow, they did it, they really did it! The F.C.C. revised its initial rule offering about net neutrality and fast lanes to change the Internet categorization from “information service” to “telecommunications” and brought the entire mobile phone market also into that umbrella. That process was a true demonstration of democracy in action as the shift responded to the over four million comments to the original proposal and a strongly worded intention by President Obama last November. Here is what we all hope to see as a result of this new categorization: resources to build out broadband, improve disability services and create greater digital and information literacies

The Role of Privacy Practices in Information Management

Tracy Mitrano and Jacob Cunningham, EDUCAUSE,  Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cloud computing shifts the institutional burden from technology to contract formation. Nowhere is this shift more notable than in information management. Many privacy practices and technical security controls must be negotiated up front with the vendor. Physical technology rests on their premises while the institution's regulatory, business needs, and ethical responsibilities to maintain the information appropriately do not change.

Google to change privacy policy after investigation by UK data watchdog

Leila Abboud, Reuters,  Friday, January 30, 2015

Search engine Google has agreed to better inform users about how it handles their personal information after an investigation by Britain's data protection regulator found its privacy policy was too vague. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said in a statement on Friday that it required Google to sign a "formal undertaking" that it would make the changes by June 30 and take further steps in the next two years.

Companies need to be custodians of customer data, not owners

Suni Munshani, Help Net Security,  Thursday, January 29, 2015

Whether forced by law or their by their own initiative, businesses must change their mindset and realize that they are not “owners” of their customers’ data that must be monetized, but rather “custodians” of data that needs to be protected. The minute businesses start thinking of themselves of custodians of their customers’ data, they will think a lot harder about how that data is accessed and used. They will put in place protections to keep it out of the hands of people – both inside and outside of their companies – who don’t require it.