Posts Under: Privacy

SIIA’s TechChats: Richard Neff |Founder & Partner, Neff Law Firm

SIIA’s TechChats provides a look into some of the most successful executives in our industry. Hear how many of them got to where they are today, what is shaping their businesses and the industry today, and special advice they would give to others trying to grow a successful company.

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SIIA and FPF Respond to Ill-Informed Student Privacy Pledge Reaction

Several years ago, SIIA and the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) worked together with a number of Ed Tech companies to develop a Student Privacy Pledge, a voluntary effort by the industry to commit to good privacy practices regarding their collection and use student data.  President Obama endorsed the pledge and it has been instrumental in guiding the development of state student privacy legislation toward protecting privacy while fostering the use of student information for fulfilling the educational needs of students.  Recently, we marked the milestone of 300 companies signing on to the pledge.  This week, however, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued an attack on the pledge as containing loopholes in its fine print. Specifically, EFF takes issue with the definition of “student personal information” in the Pledge and the fact that the pledge only covers “school service providers.” These concerns are largely unfounded and ill-informed ...

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Myths in Student Privacy and Advertising

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) recently released a report entitled Learning to Be Watched: Surveillance Culture at School. In making claims about how student data is being protected, the report conflates the issues of student data privacy and advertising. The truth is that strong, multi-layered protections now exist to protect student information and ensure it is used only for educational purposes. In addition, current law and subsequent regulation forbids the use of student information for targeted advertising.

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Google Takes a Sensible Step on Right to Be Forgotten

Google recently informed European data protection authorities (DPAs) that, in addition to removing search results from all European domains of Google Search, Google would soon begin using geo-location technology to additionally restrict access to search results that have been delisted in response to European privacy requests.  This is a sensible step to allay DPA concerns about the balance of a right to privacy and freedom of information and should satisfy those in Europe calling for full global removals without impeding access to information outside of Europe. Of course, the right to be forgotten is a terrible idea – at least in the form in which the European Court of Justice imposed it on European search engines in May 2014.  That decision instructed search engines not to return results derived from a search on a person’s name when the data “appear to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which the ...

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Policymakers Should Not Restrict Additional Uses of Student Data

Parental consent is an important element in protecting student privacy.  Of course, as FERPA says, prior consent is not always required when student information is disclosed for the educational purposes of a school under the direction of the school. But the fully informed consent of parents also legitimizes additional uses of student information. When not directed by a school, should a student’s information be shared with potential colleges or employers? What about to a student’s tutor or a scholarship competition? It’s clear there are currently federal and increasingly state laws and regulations to ensure student's sensitive data is protected and used only for educational purposes. As some policymakers though have sought additional protections they have drafted legislation that would preclude parents from authorizing the use of their child's data for purposes restricted or not envisioned by the legislation. They shouldn't. If technology-enabled services a ...

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