Protecting Student Data While Using Online Education Services

Protecting Student Data While Using Online Education Services

SERVE AND PROTECT: Following yesterday's "School Privacy Zone" Summit, hosted by nonprofit Common Sense Media, the U.S. Department of Education today announced the release of new guidelines through the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). According to the USDOE's press release, the guidelines will help schools, districts, and educators understand best practices protecting student privacy while using "online education services" (anything from third-party data providers to mobile applications).

In his speech yesterday at the School Privacy Zone Summit, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan explained that despite a recommendation for "vigorous self-policing by commercial players," the federal government is "not going to wait for industry or rely on promises" to protect student data.

While it looks like the USDOE is losing confidence in the industry's ability to self-regulate, the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) feels differently. On Monday, SIIA released a set of industry practices to safeguard student information and data. SIIA Senior Director of Education Policy Mark Schneiderman describes the practices as relating to transparency, authorization, and data breach notification.

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