EPIC, Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Several states have recently enacted new student privacy laws. Colorado and Connecticut’s laws impose strict requirements on those who collect student data. Connecticut also requires that parents are notified each time a school district enters into a contract that involves student data. North Carolina enacted a student privacy law modeled after California's Student Online Personal Information Protection Act. The National Association of State Boards of Education reported that 38 states considered student privacy legislation in 2016. Ten of those states passed student privacy laws. EPIC has urged the enactment of a comprehensive student privacy bill of rights. EPIC's State Policy Project is monitoring privacy bills nationwide.
Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun, Monday, June 13, 2016
Officials at the University System of Maryland have begun to analyze student data — grades, financial aid information, demographics, even how often they swipe their ID cards at the library or the dining hall — to find undergraduates who are at risk of dropping out. Law enforcement agencies, political campaigns, retailers and other universities all mine data to help focus their efforts. University system officials say the practice, called predictive analysis, will boost graduation rates by enabling educators to intervene with struggling students before failure becomes inevitable.
Electronic Privacy Information Center, Monday, June 6, 2016
EPIC, legal scholars, technical experts, and many leading privacy organizations have petitioned the Education Department to establish a data security rule to protect student records. The experts and groups explained that data breaches now plague schools and colleges across the country, following recent changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The petition calls for the establishment of rules for encryption, privacy enhancing techniques, and breach notification.
Sri Ravipati, THE Journal, Thursday, June 2, 2016
Student information is getting a regulatory makeover on a massive scale. Legislatures in 38 states considered 185 bills on student data privacy this year, many with stricter language protections for students, according to a policy update report from the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). Amelia Vance, director of education data and technology for NASBE, wrote the “Trends in Student Data Privacy Bills in 2016” report that touches on improvements made to previous bills and notes specific states to watch.
Joanna Lyn Grama, Educause Review, Wednesday, June 1, 2016
We need all these data, collected in a comprehensive and large-scale way, to address some of our most critical questions about how to ensure student success. Yet every conversation about how this data can be used to improve student outcomes must also acknowledge the necessity of maintaining the privacy of students and their families and properly securing any data sets containing personally identifiable data. With thoughtful planning, comprehensive information security and privacy practices can be implemented within the national postsecondary education data infrastructure in a way that reduces risk, safeguards data, and ensures transparency, accountability, and trust throughout the ecosystem.
Brenda Leong, Brookings, Tuesday, May 24, 2016
In the last two years, there has been a perfect storm on the topic of student data privacy. The role of technology within schools expanded at an unprecedented rate, general awareness of consumer data security and breaches increased, and student databases at the state or national level were established or proposed, which drew great public scrutiny and fear. This maelstrom yielded a tremendous output of legislative activity targeted at education technology companies, that was overwhelmingly focused on protecting and limiting the sharing and use of student data—in rare instances, to the point of forbidding research uses almost completely. There are signs that this wave of fear-driven response has finally crested, and that more measured conversations are occurring; conversations that prioritize the fundamental requirement for appropriate privacy and security, but with a clear focus on the invaluable role of research and analysis and the need to enable it.
Melanie Bates, Future of Privacy Forum, Monday, May 23, 2016
Today, the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and ConnectSafely are releasing the Educator’s Guide to Student Data Privacy. Technology tools and applications are changing the way schools and teachers educate students across the country. New resources are making it easier for teachers and students to communicate in and outside of the classroom making learning a 24/7 activity. When schools use technology, a student’s personal information is often collected and shared for the purpose of furthering their education. The Educator’s Guide will help teachers utilize technology in the classroom responsibly and protect their students’ privacy, explaining among other things...
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The report, titled “Learning to be Watched: Surveillance Culture at School” and published Tuesday by the National Center for Education Policy at the University of Colorado at Boulder says student privacy is increasingly being compromised by commercial entities that establish relationships with schools — often providing free technology — and then track students online and collect massive amounts of data about them. Then they tailor their advertising to keep the young people connected to them. One important consequence, the report says, is that children who are subjected to “constant digital surveillance and marketing at school” come to accept as normal that corporations play a big role not only in their education but in their lives.
Keith Wagstaff, NBC News, Monday, May 9, 2016
"We believe that you should know as much as possible about the requests we receive," UC Berkeley said on its website, noting that it would release a transparency report every six months. In 2015, the university received a total of 32 requests for student and faculty data, either for internal investigations, court cases, or from government and law enforcement agencies.
Joey Bunch, The Denver Post, Thursday, May 5, 2016