680K affected by Indian edtech firm breach

(Nov 4, 2019) The Economic Times reports education technology company Vedantu was hit by a data breach affecting 680,000 customers across India. Names, phone numbers, email addresses and IP addresses were among the information exposed in the breach, which reportedly occurred at the end of September. Vedantu Co-Founder Vamsi Krishna said his company alerted customers within days of the breach and suggested they replace passwords.Full Story... Read More

School use of student tracking apps raising privacy concerns

(Oct 30, 2019) School use of software programs to track students is raising privacy concerns, The Washington Post reports. “Hundreds of applications, big and small, are being used at schools across the country to do everything from track homework to modify behavior. They can collect data about intelligence, disciplinary issues, personalities and schedules,” according to the report. Head of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy Leonie Haimson said parents “are upset about the lack of privacy involved” and ho... Read More

CNIL bans high schools' facial-recognition programs

(Oct 29, 2019) The French data protection authority, the CNIL, announced it has ordered high schools in Nice and Marseille to end their facial-recognition programs. Following a review, the CNIL found the schools' deployment of the software was not in line with the EU General Data Protection Regulation's principles on proportionality and data minimization. It was concluded that the goals the facial-recognition program would help reach could "be achieved by much less intrusive means in terms of privacy and indiv... Read More

Computer monitoring raises privacy concerns in Alaskan school

(Oct 21, 2019) A computer-monitoring program launched in an Alaskan school district is raising concerns over student privacy and data collection, The Associated Press reports. The software monitors for dangerous content, including potential school shooters, self-harm and cyberbullying, school district officials said. Some students believe the lack of an opt-out option infringes on their rights, and parents have expressed concern over who views the system’s alerts and data. Meanwhile, students in a Pennsylvania... Read More

Colleges are tracking prospective students' personal data

(Oct 15, 2019) College admission offices rank prospective students before they apply by tracking their personal data, including web browsing habits and financial history, according to records reviewed by The Washington Post. The report found at least "44 public and private universities in the United States work with outside consulting companies to collect and analyze data on prospective students ... to measure each student’s likelihood of enrolling." These actions have raised concerns schools are not obtaining... Read More

Op-ed: A pitch to keep US children's privacy strong

(Oct 11, 2019) The New York Times editorial board wrote an op-ed making a case for U.S. regulators to uphold strong children's privacy laws. The board wrote the Federal Trade Commission has "an unusual opportunity" to "choose to study the issue in greater depth and ultimately make privacy protections stronger" as it reviews the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. However, they also wrote on why there's reason to be concerned the FTC won't make substantial changes that protect kids against the ever-growin... Read More

French region awaits CNIL opinion on facial recognition at high schools

(Sep 27, 2019) The South Region of France awaits an opinion from the country's data protection authority, the CNIL, on its plans to install facial-recognition cameras at the entrances of two high schools, Politico reports. The regional body approved the plan in December 2018 to put the cameras in front of schools in Nice and Marseille. The technology will be provided by tech company Cisco. “The biometric profiles of each student who will have given their consent will be kept temporarily on a database inside th... Read More

Classrooms in China using AI, brain-wave trackers

(Sep 23, 2019) A video report for The Wall Street Journal examines China's increased use of advanced artificial intelligence technology in classrooms. Schools are increasingly leveraging facial-recognition cameras and brain-wave trackers to gather information on student health and engagement. Though many teachers and parents see the technology as tools to improve grades, the surveillance is raising privacy concerns. Meanwhile, Chinese scientists have created an AI-based 500-megapixel cloud camera system "to ca... Read More

A closer look at Carnegie Mellon's privacy engineering program

(Sep 20, 2019) Though the privacy engineering field is relatively new, there’s been at least one school that’s been at the forefront of this nascent profession. Carnegie Mellon University launched its MSIT- Privacy Engineering Program in 2013. It remains the only privacy engineering-focused master’s program in the country. As industry demand for privacy professionals with technical skills accelerates, it is worth taking a deeper look at the program and how it prepares new professionals for this burgeoning fiel... Read More

Spain's DPA releases guidance on data processing for wellness, education apps

(Sep 19, 2019) The Spanish Agency for Data Protection published guidance for education and wellness applications that process personal data. The guidance is not only intended for the organizations that are responsible for processing the data, but also for the developers of the apps. The DPA’s document identifies practices that may negatively impact user privacy and solutions and alternatives to avoid such behavior. The AEPD and Polytechnic University of Madrid analyzed the 10 most-popular wellness and educatio... Read More