Personal information of 1.6M people potentially exposed by Md. government

(Jul 17, 2019) The Washington Post reports the Maryland State Department of Education potentially exposed the personal information of more than 1.4 million students and 200,000 teachers due to improper data storage. An audit of the agency revealed that the names and Social Security numbers of the victims were left unencrypted, which is a violation of Maryland's information security policy. “Appropriate information system security controls need to exist to ensure that this information is safeguarded and not imp... Read More

German state bans use of Microsoft Office 365 in schools

(Jul 12, 2019) ZDNet reports the German state of Hesse has made it illegal for its schools to use Microsoft Office 365. Hessian Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Michael Ronellenfitsch implemented the ban in response to an alleged lack of details related to Microsoft's data-handling practices and based on growing fears that U.S. agencies are able to access the personal information of teachers and students through the platform. The decision also comes after years of debate on whether a... Read More

Fla. gov. to go forward with school safety database despite criticism

(Jul 12, 2019) Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., has denied recent requests to terminate the state's school safety database and will continue to gather data that tracks students' mental health, Spectrum Bay News 9 reports. DeSantis put out a statement explaining the purpose and use of the database were being misinterpreted by the coalition of 33 organizations. DeSantis said the database functions as "a tool for threat assessment teams to evaluate the seriousness of individual cases and is not being used to label stud... Read More

Md. school district to begin annual deletion of old student data

(Jul 11, 2019) The Wall Street Journal reports Maryland's Montgomery County Public Schools have taken up an annual purge of its databases that contain data of more than 162,000 students. Montgomery County is the first district in the state and one of just a handful of districts nationwide to take up the clearing venture. The "Data Deletion Week" will clear student internet histories from servers run by Google, Apple and GoGuardian, which offers services to help teachers manage classrooms and monitor students. ... Read More

Roundup: Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Rwanda, US and more

(Jul 1, 2019) In this week’s Privacy Tracker global legislative roundup, discussions on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield are set to ramp up. Google is being accused of privacy violations with lawsuits in France and the U.S. A Massachusetts city joined San Francisco in banning government use of facial-recognition surveillance. Rwanda approved new cybersecurity and data protection measures in the African Union Convention. Concerns over the potential weakness of the California Consumer Privacy Act are rising. And the ... Read More

Global News Roundup — June 24–July 1, 2019

(Jul 1, 2019) In this week’s Privacy Tracker global legislative roundup, discussions on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield are set to ramp up. Google is being accused of privacy violations with lawsuits in France and the U.S. A Massachusetts city joined San Francisco in banning government facial-recognition surveillance. Rwanda approved new cybersecurity and data protection measures in the African Union Convention. Concerns over the potential weakness of the California Consumer Privacy Act are rising. And the IAPP’s ... Read More

USENIX to host privacy engineering conference Aug. 12–13

(Jun 26, 2019) The 2019 Privacy Engineering Practice and Respect conference, sponsored by USENIX in cooperation with the IAPP, will take place Aug. 12 and 13 in Santa Clara, California. The single-track event will focus on designing and building products and systems with considerations of privacy and respect for their users and societies in which they operate. Conference organizers Lorrie Faith Cranor, CIPT, and Lea Kissner are bringing together practitioners and researchers to discuss challenges in privacy en... Read More

Roundup: Egypt, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, US and more

(Jun 24, 2019) In this week’s Privacy Tracker global legislative roundup, Egypt has passed its first data protection legislation. A lawsuit has been filed in Nigeria to prohibit the disclosure of personal information belonging to the country’s president. In the U.S., Hawaii is on the verge of passing a law that prohibits the sale of location data, new privacy legislation in Maine and Nevada are viewed against the California Consumer Privacy Act, a Minnesota police officer was awarded $585,000 in a privacy suit... Read More

Global News Roundup — June 17–24, 2019

(Jun 24, 2019) In this week’s Privacy Tracker global legislative roundup, Egypt has passed its first data protection legislation. A lawsuit has been filed in Nigeria to prohibit the disclosure of personal information belonging to the country’s president. In the U.S., Hawaii is on the verge of passing a law that prohibits the sale of location data, new privacy legislation in Maine and Nevada are viewed against the California Consumer Privacy Act, a Minnesota police officer was awarded $585,000 in a privacy suit... Read More

Alberta privacy commissioner releases guide to GSA disclosures

(Jun 21, 2019) The Office of the Information of the Privacy Commissioner of Alberta released an advisory guide on whether it is reasonable to disclose when students participate in gay-straight alliances, CBC News reports. The guide states any revelation must be in accordance with the province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection Act; however, there are some instances when disclosures may be necessary under PIPA. The commissioner’s office released the do... Read More