Accessibility Standards, Cloud Computing and Innovation

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Monday, July 14, 2014

What difference does cloud computing make with regard to accessibility? As a governance, compliance, and matter of risk management, the answer is essentially “no difference.” Accessibility is as much a compliance issue as privacy, security, and export control.

Trust But Verify Big Datamining Claims

H. Bryan Cunningham by Bryan Cunningham, Cunningham Levy LLP
Thursday, May 08, 2014

Much has been written in recent years about the benefits and risks of “free” cloud services monetized by providers mining the private data of users. These risks are particularly acute in some government cases, e.g., education applications mining the data of students, and applications used by law enforcement and national security agencies. I, along with others, have recommended that government entities include clauses in contracts with cloud providers prohibiting data mining. Some governmental contracting authorities have embraced this remedy.

Google Data Mining Changes: Privacy Reform Needed

Doug Miller by Doug Miller, SafeGov.org
Thursday, May 08, 2014

By Doug Miller, Information Week Google's decision to end its practice of scanning student emails for advertising purposes -- and to make "similar changes" for all Google Apps customers -- is a major victory for privacy but raises new questions. Although the announcement is an important step, it raises questions about the company's practices in the past -- and for the future. Will Google stay committed to the "free" education space when it can no longer monetize student data?

Big Data and Our Children’s Future: On Reforming FERPA

Daniel J. Solove by Daniel Solove, TeachPrivacy
Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Last week, the White House released its report, Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values. My reaction to it is mixed. The report mentions some concerns about privacy with Big Data and suggests some reforms, but everything is stated so mildly, in a way designed to please everyone. The report is painted in pastels; it finesses the hard issues and leaves specifics for another day. So it is a step forward, which is good, but it is a very small step, like a child on a beach reluctantly dipping a toe into ocean.

Why Did inBloom Die? A Hard Lesson About Education Privacy

Daniel J. Solove by Daniel Solove, TeachPrivacy
Monday, April 28, 2014

For any organization who doesn't take privacy seriously, the demise of inBoom should be a loud wake up call. Funded by $100 million from the Gates Foundation, inBloom was a non-profit organization aiming to store student data so that school officials and teachers could use it to learn about their students and how to more effectively teach them and improve their performance in school. Who would have thought that a project with so much funding and promise would be shutting down just a few years after its creation? What went wrong?

FTC in position to enforce data stewardship standards among cloud providers, says paper

David Perera, FierceGovernmentIT,  Sunday, April 20, 2014

Enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission have laid a foundation for establishment of data stewardship standards controlling cloud services that involve processing personal data, say two academics.

Read your privacy policies, people!

Doug Miller by Doug Miller, SafeGov.org
Monday, April 07, 2014

The issue of consumer consent has taken center stage since the U.S. District Court in California accused Google of violating the federal Wiretap Act by scanning emails for targeted advertising. However, an unfolding story reveals that this same privacy policy also applies to Google’s education, business, and government cloud offerings. A recent exposé in Education Week highlights how Google, as part of its sworn testimony, admitted to mining student data to serve its own purposes, which includes using student data to show targeted ads to minors. While this revelation could suggest that Google is in violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the fact that Google mines data from all of its services should not be a surprise. Why? Because, as Google states, when consumers use its services, they are consenting to its privacy policy, which gives Google the right to use and combine the personal information it collects to improve its services, develop new products, and display more relevant search results. This subsequently works to fund advertising.

The Battle for Leadership in Education Privacy Law: Will California Seize the Throne?

Paul SchwartzDaniel J. Solove by Paul Schwartz, Berkeley Law School
Daniel Solove, TeachPrivacy
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Education was one of the first areas where privacy was regulated by a federal statute. Passed in the early 1970s, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was on the frontier of federal privacy regulation. But now it is old and ineffective. With the growing public concern about the privacy of student data, states are starting to rev up their engines and become more involved. The result could be game-changing legislation for the multi-billion dollar education technology industry.

Microsoft agrees to ‘cloud’ changes for schools

SwissInfo.ch,  Thursday, March 20, 2014

Swiss schools may soon start using a Microsoft cloud-computing service after a deal was sealed between the tech giant and Swiss officials and appropriate changes made to ensure adherence to strict data protection guidelines.

Japanese parents say no to Internet services that target online ads at children in schools

Japan Today,  Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Washington-based SafeGov.org, a non-profit organization that promotes the safe and secure use of cloud computing, on Tuesday released the results of an opinion survey of Japanese parents with school-age children using internet in their classrooms. The survey reveals that the majority of parents are concerned about the violation of their child’s privacy deriving from in-school Internet access, and 74% disprove companies tracking their child’s web browsing habits for their commercial use of online ads.