If we had to use one word to sum up the current state of
student privacy, we would have to go with “complexity.” Technology has become
more and more entwined in our schools and into students’ lives; pilot programs
like iPads will soon become standard at every school and grade level.
Elementary school children who used to learn the Three Rs are now learning
things like programming, robotics and engineering. Rote memorization has been replaced
with gamified learning. And what would be early-adopter technology for this
year’s kindergartner, like wearable tech and virtual reality, may be a standard
educational tool by time she becomes a sixth grader.
While technology will always move faster than legislation, all levels of government are feverously working
to spell out the rules for how we treat student data. As with any legislation,
there are many different interest groups with different ideologies and
priorities. A simple question like “Who is responsible for student data?” will
be answered very differently by state legislators, local school boards,
teachers, parents and technology companies; each wants control while shielding
themselves from any liability.
And liability is a reality. Right now your student data is at
risk with grave consequences. We live in an age where Fortune 500 companies are
routinely hacked, exposing the sensitive data of millions of customers for all
to see and steal with the click of a mouse. If all the resources of companies
like Target, Sony and Home Depot can’t protect their data, what hope
does the average overworked, underfunded school district IT department have?
Not only do they need to protect from outside threats (or mischievous
students); they need to protect the data from their software vendors who may
want to collect it for marketing purposes. Short of reading hundreds of
ever-changing Terms of Services for every app and software your district uses,
you have no idea how your vendors use the data they collect, where they store
it, when they delete it, who has final control over it or perhaps even how to
Because of all this complexity, we believe this is the year
student data becomes one of the most important issues facing a school district.
The choices schools, legislators and technology companies make over the next 12
months may end up being the foundation for what is considered standard in
We created EdProtect
to give schools the choice of the highest level of student data privacy
possible. Because we’re not just developers; we’re parents. We’re as excited by
all the new technology in schools as anyone, and wholeheartedly believe in the
power of technology to help our kids learn. But we’re also increasingly
concerned about the security of student data. And we’re not alone: 87% of parents surveyed
are worried their child’s information can be stolen, with 85% responding that
their willingness to support technology in schools must be coupled with efforts
to ensure security.
Whether you are ready or not, this is the year your school
needs to make a commitment to protecting student data. Learn
more about how our tools make ensuring student privacy simple and sign up for a free