This report (downloadable from SSRN here) draws from ongoing Student Privacy Initiative research as well as participant inputs from an April 2013 exploratory workshop,
"Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem," to begin to map the
current landscape and connect the often-siloed perspectives of
educational institutions, students, parents, and administrators as well
as cloud service providers and policy makers.
workshop, the Berkman Center distilled a number of high-level
observations that may be particularly critical in informing and
catalyzing both future research and action. Some of the key points
include the following:
Expanding educational and knowledge sharing effortswill be integral to engage parents, students, and teachers alongside
representatives from a variety of disciplines. These diverse
stakeholders may have vastly different baseline knowledge of relevant
issues—from cloud computing to privacy concerns to regulatory
considerations—and addressing these differences may require a
multi-pronged approach. In particular, it will be important to share
up-to-date information about rapidly developing educational technologies so that potential users can better understand what data vendors might
access and collect as well as what the vendor might do with this data.
Developing a shared vocabulary and understanding of privacy and technological termswill be central to future research, outreach, policy, and educational
efforts. Taxonomies and guides can help to cultivate a shared language
and bolster communication and collaboration across educational,
commercial, and regulatory settings.
Good practices and draft standards, especially around contractual practices and terms of service, represent a fruitful area for attention. Stakeholders should enter this space in
close communication with vendors and industry representatives.
Ongoing normative analysis and discussionwill be critical in grappling with the many dimensions of the topic and
considering how core technologies, opportunities, and behaviors may
evolve. In particular, the rapid emergence of data analytics
technologies raise important questions about how existing legal
frameworks should be interpreted or evolve. This dialogue should be
grounded in real-world examples and data, and address open questions
such as whether and how cloud technologies support broader educational
values and if so, what specific value trade-offs may be involved.
This report offers many more concrete details regarding research, policymaking, outreach,
and engagement around student privacy and cloud computing.
considering norms and values alongside the opportunities for research,
policymaking, outreach, and engagement around student privacy and cloud
computing in the working road map, the Berkman Center looks forward to
continuing the dialogue around this timely and important topic as part
of its evolving privacy research agenda.