Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Data Privacy Day

 From Stay Safe Online:

Data Privacy Day is an international effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint.

Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the January 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. Data Privacy Day is now a celebration for everyone, observed annually on January 28. 

Data flows freely in today's online world. Everyone - from home computer users to multinational corporations - needs to be aware of the personal data others have entrusted to them and remain vigilant and proactive about protecting it. Being a good online citizen means practicing conscientious data stewardship. Data Privacy Day is an effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy, control their digital footprint, and make the protection of privacy and data a great priority in their lives.

Now this is a fascinating thing - this concern over our "digital footprint" because of NSA leaks, data breeches by the millions through businesses like Target and the latest survey from Common Sense Media.
  • 90% of adults are concerned about how non-educational interests are able to access and use students' personal information.
There is strong support for the implementation of policies to protect students, including:
·       Increasing transparency by requiring schools to notify parents before they share students' personal data with private companies (91%)
·       Creating tighter security standards to protect students' private information that is stored "in the cloud" (89%)
·       Making it illegal for schools and education-technology companies to sell students' private information to advertisers (77%)
·       Restricting companies from using students' online habits and searches on school computers to target online advertisements to them (74%)
·       Restricting cloud services such as Google from using students' email, online searches, and Web histories to build profiles of personal data and demographics over time (70%) 

Here's how Common Sense Media sees student data privacy:

To start the discussion, we propose three basic principles that attempt to balance the tremendous opportunity provided by education technology with the need to foster a trusted learning environment committed to children’s educational development where their personal information is protected.
These initial principles are:
  1. Students’ personal information shall be used solely for educational purposes.
  2. Students’ personal information or online activity shall not be used to target advertising to students or families.
  3. Schools and education technology providers shall adopt appropriate data security, retention, and destruction policies.
I am working hard on this issue and I hope that when we launch, you consider what your student's data privacy means to you and YOUR family.

Just to see how the other side - the Gates Foundation's Data Quality Campaign - sees life for teachers with all this data, a YouTube video.  The opening scenes with data popping up everywhere?  I'll bet it's a teacher's dream.

"They have access to 'powerful tools" that let them see if a student goes off track."  Without naming those tools but the teacher has a device in her hand that looks suspiciously like an iPad.

Yes, because technology is going to solve everything.


Anonymous said...

What if a teacher is going off track? I don't think they'd like us having powerful tools to see all their information. How about the superintendent? If he starts going off track can we all log on and find out why?

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see a 4. Parents must consent each time the school/district/state intends to share data. Every single time to every single entity.

Even a checklist like they have for pictures (OK for yearbook, OK for web, OK for school stuff) For ex, attendance info OK, discipline not OK.

I realize this essentially invalidates the data b/c the same poor kid won't be tracked from preK to college and beyond. But I don't care. Until my child is no longer a minor and can make these decisions for themselves, I get to opt in. Not vaguely opt out via the watered down FERPA.

Of course I know this will never happen.

-no datashare

Melissa Westbrook said...

No datashare, you may not be able to opt out; I agree that is unlikely to happen.

BUT you should be notified when data is being used, what is used, who sees it and most of all, the security of data when in use and destruction when it they are done.

That can happen.

Anonymous said...

See Proposed Substitute House Bill currently before the House Education Committee: https://app.leg.wa.gov/CMD/document.aspx?agency=3&year=2014&cid=888&lid=2133.

Many student data privacy issues are addressed, including the rights of parents to "opt in" before personally identifiable information on students in shared with outside entities.

--- swk

Melissa Westbrook said...

So I have been in contact with Senator Scott (the sponsor of the bill). It is better than it originally was but does not have near the language needed.

It's a good start and I support it.

I'll write up a separate thread.

Thanks SWK