FTC in position to enforce data stewardship standards among cloud providers, says paper

David Perera, FierceGovernmentIT,  Sunday, April 20, 2014

Enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission have laid a foundation for establishment of data stewardship standards controlling cloud services that involve processing personal data, say two academics.

Read your privacy policies, people!

Doug Miller by Doug Miller, SafeGov.org
Monday, April 07, 2014

The issue of consumer consent has taken center stage since the U.S. District Court in California accused Google of violating the federal Wiretap Act by scanning emails for targeted advertising. However, an unfolding story reveals that this same privacy policy also applies to Google’s education, business, and government cloud offerings. A recent exposé in Education Week highlights how Google, as part of its sworn testimony, admitted to mining student data to serve its own purposes, which includes using student data to show targeted ads to minors. While this revelation could suggest that Google is in violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the fact that Google mines data from all of its services should not be a surprise. Why? Because, as Google states, when consumers use its services, they are consenting to its privacy policy, which gives Google the right to use and combine the personal information it collects to improve its services, develop new products, and display more relevant search results. This subsequently works to fund advertising.

The Battle for Leadership in Education Privacy Law: Will California Seize the Throne?

Paul SchwartzDaniel J. Solove by Paul Schwartz, Berkeley Law School
Daniel Solove, TeachPrivacy
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Education was one of the first areas where privacy was regulated by a federal statute. Passed in the early 1970s, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was on the frontier of federal privacy regulation. But now it is old and ineffective. With the growing public concern about the privacy of student data, states are starting to rev up their engines and become more involved. The result could be game-changing legislation for the multi-billion dollar education technology industry.

Microsoft agrees to ‘cloud’ changes for schools

SwissInfo.ch,  Thursday, March 20, 2014

Swiss schools may soon start using a Microsoft cloud-computing service after a deal was sealed between the tech giant and Swiss officials and appropriate changes made to ensure adherence to strict data protection guidelines.

Japanese parents say no to Internet services that target online ads at children in schools

Japan Today,  Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Washington-based SafeGov.org, a non-profit organization that promotes the safe and secure use of cloud computing, on Tuesday released the results of an opinion survey of Japanese parents with school-age children using internet in their classrooms. The survey reveals that the majority of parents are concerned about the violation of their child’s privacy deriving from in-school Internet access, and 74% disprove companies tracking their child’s web browsing habits for their commercial use of online ads.

Google Under Fire for Data-Mining Student Email Messages

Benjamin Herold, Education Week,  Thursday, March 13, 2014

As part of a potentially explosive lawsuit making its way through federal court, giant online-services provider Google has acknowledged scanning the contents of millions of email messages sent and received by student users of the company’s Apps for Education tool suite for schools.

U.S. Education Department Issues Guidance on Student Data Privacy

Benjamin Herold, Education Week,  Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Seeking to help schools and districts better protect students' privacy, the U.S. Department of Education released new guidance Tuesday on the proper use, storage, and security of the massive amounts of data being generated by new, online educational resources.The guidelines, produced by the department's privacy technical assistance center, highlight the rapidly evolving, often-murky world of educational technology and student data privacy: "It depends" is the department's short answer to two major questions related to the laws governing the sharing of sensitive student information with third-party vendors.

Feds push student data standards

Kate Tummarello, The Hill,  Monday, February 24, 2014

Federal officials are pushing the education tech industry to heighten privacy and security standards for student data. Speaking at a Common Sense event on Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that his department would be on Tuesday releasing guidance for companies that contract with schools to handle student data.

Calif. bill would protect student data from advertisers

Zach Rausnitz, FierceGovernmentIT,  Monday, February 24, 2014

A bill in the California State Senate would ban online services for K-12 schools from compiling or sharing students' personal information for commercial purposes, including advertising.

Scrutiny in California for Software in Schools

Natasha Singer, The New York Times,  Thursday, February 20, 2014

A leading California lawmaker plans to introduce state legislation on Thursday that would shore up privacy and security protections for the personal information of students in elementary through high school, a move that could alter business practices across the nearly $8 billion education technology software industry.