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This Week in Student Privacy: 9/30

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This update was compiled by Hannah Offer. Hannah is a senior at the Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences and a research assistant for the Student Privacy Initiative.

Dutch Privacy Regulator Finds That Company Violated Student Privacy Rights

Last week, “the Dutch privacy regulator CPB . . . found that a company ( Snappet) renting tablets to schools “violated the privacy of students.” The company “was using personal data on the devices to compare students from different schools” without explicit consent from the schools.

Data Quality Campaign and Center for Democracy and Technology Host “Always On” Event
Last week, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) hosted “Always On: the Digital Student,” which “convened representatives from education, privacy, and education technology to talk about ensuring student privacy.” Wrap-up posts from the event can be found here and here.

Hunstville, Alabama Schools Have Been Secretly Monitoring Students
The Hunstville, Alabama School District has been secretly “monitor[ing] students online activities” for the last 18 months, following an alleged call from the National Security Agency (NSA) warning that “a had threatened on Facebook to injure a teacher.” The NSA denies having made any contact with the district, saying that such a call “is inconsistent with NSA's practices.” For more on this story, visit The Week, International Business Times, or WAAY.

Additional Articles/Resources

  • The New York Times published an op-ed forum among several student privacy experts discussing privacy and student data collection.
  • Chicago Tribune reported on the student privacy issues and monitoring concerns that have arisen in response to schools’ issuing tablets and computers to students.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a back to school guide to organizing “digital rights student groups” and events.
  • The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) published an article discussing the “lessons that can be gleaned” from inBloom’s demise.
  • Chalkbeat Indiana reported on ex-legislator Steve Braun’s ambition to “use data to reimagine education.”

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Student Privacy Initiative

The Student Privacy Initiative-- part of the Center's growing suite of Privacy Initiatives-- aims to surface, identify, and evaluate central privacy issues and opportunities that…