PARTNERS IN PRIVACY: Last year’s SXSWedu gathering featured nearly a dozen sessions on student data privacy. This year’s extravaganza begins on a familiar note, as Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, has partnered with 40 U.S. school districts to launch the “Common Sense Privacy Evaluation Initiative.” The goal is to establish and share a common framework to help districts thoroughly review the privacy and security standards of the edtech tools they use.
This multi-year partnership is supported by the Gates Foundation and the Dell Foundation. The first deliverable is a free “Information Security Primer for Evaluating Educational Software,” which will be released here on April 1. While it is designed for both school and district IT staff, edtech companies can also use it to review their own practices and safeguards.
Aside from helping districts “simplif[y] the process of evaluating basic information security practices in educational software applications,” this primer is part of a larger effort to “help the K-12 educational software industry simplify and standardize privacy policies according to legal statute and FTC guidelines, as well as data handling best practices,” according to the press release.