Quebec privacy law remains intact despite Concordia harassment allegations

(Mar 22, 2019) Following sexual harassment claims against Concordia University professors, Quebec's Education Ministry will uphold a provision in Bill 151 that prohibits accusers from learning the outcome of investigations into the allegations due to privacy and confidentiality considerations, CBC News reports. After the allegations surfaced, Concordia produced a "climate review" where it recommended students should be allowed to know what happens to their alleged harassers. Former Education Minister Hélène Da... Read More

Hackers hit prospective student data in latest attack

(Mar 8, 2019) An unauthorized user reportedly gained access to a database used to store student data and has offered to sell prospective students their personal information, including comments made by admissions officers, interview reports, teacher recommendations and tentative decisions, The Wall Street Journal reports. Technolutions, the company that owns the database in question, collects and stores prospective student data for Oberlin College in Ohio, Grinnell College in Iowa, and Hamilton College in New ... Read More

Swedish data authority to investigate school's use of facial recognition

(Feb 28, 2019) The Swedish Data Inspection Authority, the Datainspektionen, plans to investigate the use of facial-recognition technology at a Skelleftea school, Telecompaper reports. The Anderstorp school has used facial recognition to take attendance. Datainspektionen Legal Adviser Ranja Bunni will lead the inquiry to see whether the school is in compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The authority seeks to find out what personal information has been collected, the way the technology has ... Read More

Pilot project introduces AI to track truancy

(Feb 28, 2019) A pilot project implementing facial-recognition technology to monitor student attendance at two New Zealand tertiary providers is set to complete in the coming month, Stuff reports. Run by Aware Group, the $150,000 project utilizes artificial intelligence to track arrivals and departures in an effort to monitor “safety and truancy” in real time. Aware Group CEO Brandon Hutcheson did not confirm which institutions had used the technology but noted that students involved in the project had signed ... Read More

Lack of K–12 CPOs isn't likely to end

(Feb 26, 2019) An article for EdSurge found that while employing a chief privacy officer in K–12 education would offer benefits to student privacy, the reality is that the education system is far away from actually employing dedicated privacy employees. After reaching out to various educational nonprofits, a technology association and several privacy professionals, EdSurge states that none could identify a single K–12 CPO. Linnette Attai, founder of global compliance consulting firm PlayWell, said the main rea... Read More

Student discovers vulnerability in Stanford's data management system

(Feb 15, 2019) A vulnerability in a third-party content management system used by Stanford University allowed students to view the Common Applications and high school transcripts of other Stanford students, The Stanford Daily reports. After requesting to view their own admission documents under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, students were then able to access the sensitive personal information of others. Between Jan. 28 and 29, a student accessed 81 records while determining the scope of the vul... Read More

Baylor's privacy officer discusses ethical principles and privacy

(Feb 1, 2019) In a blog post for the organization, Baylor University Chief Privacy Officer Doug Welch discusses the five ethical principles that should undergird data privacy discussions. "Today, a substantial amount of human interaction occurs electronically. Part of Baylor establishing a privacy program and the efforts to publicize data privacy is to take a leadership role in the higher education community on this important issue," he said. The five principles he highlights include choice, transparency, acc... Read More

Report grades states on student data privacy

(Jan 31, 2019) In an article for Forbes, Peter Greene looks at how the proliferation of computer-based technology in schools has impacted student data privacy. “Schools are where one thorny modern issue — data privacy — meets our most vulnerable population — students,” Greene writes. Pointing to the 2019 State Student Privacy Report Card, which grades states across seven categories of protecting student data privacy, he writes, “The picture is not pretty; no state earned an A, and 28 states failed with either ... Read More

CDT releases resource for CPOs in education

(Jan 30, 2019) In a blog post for the Center for Democracy & Technology, Senior Fellow of Student Privacy Elizabeth Laird announced the release of an issue brief focused on making the case for incorporating chief privacy officers into education. Describing a variety of practices that can help to support the addition of a CPO, the brief calls attention to the role of leadership and ways to broadcast the role as an organizational asset. Divided into two sections, the brief also examines the role of the organ... Read More

Concerns raised over practice of student data collection

(Jan 28, 2019) The Wall Street Journal reports on how universities are using student data to help determine “demonstrated interest.” The data is used to help inform enrollment officers if an applicant is considering whether to attend by analyzing information such as email opening rates, link clicking, and RSVPs versus attendance to online events. Privacy advocates have raised concerns over the practice. “It feels like surveillance and I don’t think it’s a healthy thing for schools to do,” Common Sense Media Fo... Read More