Uniform privacy policy could help safeguard student data, promote ed tech expansion

educationdive | May 06, 2019

As chief information officer (CIO) for Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, Andrew Moore believes a uniform privacy policy would benefit students and allow for ed tech growth. In an interview with Edscoop, Moore pointed to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation as a good example of how this can be done.A uniform national policy would save a lot of time and resources, which would be especially helpful for smaller districts with more limited resources, Moore said. Without it, CIOs walk a fine line between allowing ed tech in the schools and dealing with parents’ distrust of large companies, such as Google, that collect massive amounts of student information.Moore said the concerns are not unwarranted, citing major data breaches that have taken place at large companies including Target. If they can happen in these organizations, it is clear that the data that exists in the K-12 space is at risk, he added. While federal privacy laws including the Family Educational Rights and Protection Act (FERPA), the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and the Children's Internet Protection Act intend to safeguard student data, ed tech evolves so quickly that the laws soon become obsolete. In fact, a new report issued by the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy and the Network for Public Education looks at the quality of student-data privacy laws passed over the past five years. Colorado was the only state to earn a B grade.

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