Tuesday, March 5, 2013

K-12 Database Will Need Privacy Monitoring

While many see a new education database as a way to "personalize learning," others, including parents, the ACLU and PTA, are concerned about privacy of students' information.

Built to chart academic paths, it "already holds data on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school - even homework completion."

"If student records leak, are hacked or abused, what are the remedies for parents? It's very troubling." - Norman Siegel, Civil Liberties Attorney
"Federal officials say the database project complies with privacy laws. Schools do not need parental consent to share student records with any "school official" who has a "legitimate educational interest," according to the Department of Education. The department defines "school official" to include private companies hired by the school, so long as they use the data only for the purposes spelled out in their contracts."

If this is the case the database will need privacy monitoring to ensure that data is being shared ONLY with those who meet these criteria.

Download a white paper on student data privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of student data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) K-12 Student Database Jazzes Tech Startups, Spooks Parents - Reuters, 03/03/13
(b) Building a Student Data Infrastructure: Privacy, Transparency, and the Gates Foundation-Funded inBloom - HackEducation, 02/10/13
(c) inBloom - www.inbloom.org, 03/03/13
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