Op-ed: ED taking steps toward protecting student privacy

(Jun 13, 2018) The U.S. Department of Education should be noted for recent guidance developed to advise education agencies and school districts on how to protect student privacy while administering SAT and ACT exams, Jane Robbins writes in an op-ed for The Hill. Robbins writes that oftentimes, the voluntary pretest surveys were misconstrued by many as a requirement. Now, the ED’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center guidance warns that without appropriate transparency, consent and privacy safeguards, the option... Read More

Fordham CLIP releases research on student data privacy

(Jun 6, 2018) Fordham University School of Law's Center on Law and Information Policy has released new research on the processing of student data. "Transparency and the Marketplace for Student Data" "seeks to provide an understanding of the commercial marketplace for student data and the interaction with privacy law," the executive summary states. Researchers used publicly available sources, conducted public records requests to educational organizations, and gathered marketing materials sent to secondary educ... Read More

NY school district implements facial-recognition technology

(May 31, 2018) A school district in Lockport, New York, is spending most of a $4 million state Smart School grant on facial-recognition technology and other security systems as part of a larger initiative to prevent school shootings, The Intercept reports. While the school purchased the software to help identify individuals placed on a school’s “blacklist,” critics argue the solution is expensive, ineffective and would instead lead to an expansion of surveillance and the criminalization of adolescents. Concern... Read More

Court: Department of Education violated privacy law

(May 29, 2018) A California federal court ruled that the U.S. Department of Education violated the Privacy Act when it used Social Security Administration data in its calculations for loan forgiveness, The Associated Press reports. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in December that some students who were defrauded by now-defunct schools would not be eligible to have their federal student loans forgiven. In its ruling, the court ordered the ED to stop its practice of using Social Security data to calcul... Read More

ED releases technical assistance to ed tech vendors

(May 24, 2018) The U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center is hoping to guide educational technology vendors through state and federal laws as they use student data, the Future of Privacy Forum reports. One key finding from the center revealed that without appropriate transparency, consent and privacy safeguards, optional surveys given to students as part of the SAT and ACT exams can violate several federal laws. Meanwhile, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, reint... Read More

Student privacy law shielding students at risk

(May 14, 2018) With suicide being the second-leading cause of death among college-age adults in the U.S., The New York Times reports on the difficult balance between protecting students’ privacy and informing family members of at-risk students. While the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act views students as adults, there are exceptions that allow colleges and universities to use their discretion. Student information can be shared if a student signs a consent, if the student is claimed as a dependent on t... Read More

New certificate in cybersecurity and data privacy law responds to student demand

(May 8, 2018) Most seasoned privacy professionals can all attest to the same claim: They didn’t go to school for this. But the privacy and data protection profession is now recognized as a growing and promising field, and universities are taking notice in an effort to respond to demand. Here, The Privacy Advisor’s Molly Hulefeld talks to Antony Haynes, Albany Law School’s director of cybersecurity and privacy law, about the school’s new certificate program designed to both serve students and feed the industry... Read More

NY-area students learn how to protect their privacy on smartphones

(May 3, 2018) A handful of schools in the New York area is rolling out an experimental new curriculum designed to educate students on how to use cellphones safely, CBS News reports. While research from Common Sense Media shows that 84 percent of kids has a smartphone by 13 or 14 years old and another study shows that 50 percent of teens feels addicted to their phones, Seton Hall Law Professor Gaia Bernstein developed the curriculum to influence kids on the cusp of smartphone use. Hoping to instill an understa... Read More

Children's privacy for edtech: An EU-US comparison

(Apr 19, 2018) In this IAPP white paper, Emily Cramer, CIPP/US, offers a comparative analysis of the U.S. and EU children's data protection frameworks for the education technology industry, addressing the particular differences between obtaining consent under the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in the U.S. "While complying with the GDPR can be difficult, in reality, the consent requirements under the GDPR for e... Read More

Albany Law School announces new online cybersecurity and privacy certificate program

(Apr 5, 2018) The Albany Law School announced a new certificate program in cybersecurity and data privacy law designed to equip students with a skills-oriented cyber law track. The program, which is offered in an online, distance-learning format, requires students to complete nine credit hours. Courses take 14 weeks to complete and may be taken concurrently, allowing a student to complete the certificate in one semester. All credits can also be applied towards the school’s Master of Science in Legal Studies i... Read More