Intersection: Sidewalks & Public Space

Chapter by Melissa Ngo

"The Myth of Security Under Camera Surveillance"

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    Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

    Consortium for School Networking Issues Privacy Resources for K to 12 Grades

    Thursday, July 10th, 2014

    The Consortium for School Networking has announced the release of privacy resources for school districts:

    CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) today unveiled two freestanding resources to accompany its in-depth, step-by-step privacy toolkit. Designed to help school system leaders navigate the complex federal laws and related issues, the complementary resources include:

    •  “10 Steps Every District Should Take Today”; and

    •  “Security Questions to Ask of an Online Service Provider

    Launched in March through CoSN’s Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative, the existing toolkit addresses compliance with laws such as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and offers smart practices to better protect student privacy and their data. The security questions for online service providers were included in the v.1 toolkit. [...]

    In the fall, CoSN will expand the toolkit with additional sections covering the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) and the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) – filling out the privacy guide with all four federal privacy laws applied to K-12 education.

    Op-Ed at USA Today: Student privacy should be a priority

    Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

    Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour writes about student privacy rights in an opinion column for USA Today:

    Debates about the relationship between privacy and personal liberty have come to a head in the past year, with legitimate arguments being made by folks from across the political spectrum. But when it comes to school children, some things should be non-negotiable. Student privacy should be protected, and companies should not be raiding kids’ records to make a buck. [...]

    It seems as if every day there’s a new story about hacking, data breaches, or major online security flaws that put students’ personal information at risk. Read more »

    New York Times: Privacy Federal Regulators Seek to Stop Sale of Students’ Data

    Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

    The New York Times reports on a case concerning the possible sale of students’ personal information:

    Last month, ConnectEDU, a popular college and career planning portal in Boston that had collected personal details on millions of high school and college students, filed for bankruptcy.

    Now federal regulators want to stop the company from selling off students’ names, email addresses, birth dates and other intimate information as assets.

    In a letter sent Thursday to the bankruptcy judge in the case, Jessica L. Rich, the director of the bureau of consumer protection at the Federal Trade Commission, argued that such a sale would violate ConnectEDU’s own privacy policy, a potentially deceptive practice. [...] Read more »

    Associated Press: New student database draws praise, privacy fears

    Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

    The Associated Press reports on privacy questions surrounding a proposal for a student database in Indiana:

    INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s plans to create a database filled with every state student’s achievement test scores, college degrees and job histories is raising concerns from some parents and privacy experts, who fear the data could be stolen or misused.

    A law passed in March calls for the Indiana Network of Knowledge, or INK, to track students from elementary school through college and into the workforce. The database will allow state officials to identify job and education trends so they can tailor the education system to better meet employers’ needs and help close the skills gap. [...]

    The database will link information from the Department of Education, Commission for Higher Education and the Department of Workforce Development. Officials also will try to persuade employers to share job and salary histories. Read more »

    NPR: What Parents Need To Know About Big Data And Student Privacy

    Thursday, May 1st, 2014

    NPR’s All Tech Considered reports on the issue of student privacy:

    Today, getting a hold of the transcript of a VIP — or any student — would require less in-person skulduggery and more clever computer searching. That’s because student data have largely moved online in just the past few years. Information is being collected and distributed at unprecedented scale, from the time that toddlers enter preschool all the way into the workforce.

    And that shift is forcing policymakers and legal experts to improvise new policies and procedures aimed at protecting the privacy of young people. Critics fear the misuse of student data by hackers, marketers and, most worryingly, by the government authorities who themselves are collecting it. [...]

    Student data used to be the pet cause of a small group of lawyers and activists. Now, in part because of the InBloom controversy, the issue is gaining broader attention. This year, 82 bills in 32 states have been introduced that somehow address student privacy. [...]

    In 2005, things changed. The federal government began awarding grants for the creation of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, or SLDS. That marked the entrance of big data into education, enabled by the leaps forward in the ability to store and process information on remote servers “in the cloud.” States and schools for the first time could centralize, organize, search and analyze information on millions of students, in the ways that corporations have been doing for decades. And many for-profit companies, like Google, have rushed in to help them do this, providing software to collect and crunch this information. Read more »

    Associated Press: Teens adept at social media get privacy training

    Monday, April 14th, 2014

    The Associated Press reports on a privacy program at St. Michael School in suburban St. Louis. The program is based a privacy curriculum based on one released by the Fordham Law School’s Center for Law and Information Policy. AP reports:

    CLAYTON, Mo. — In an age of increased online government surveillance and targeted social media ads, the notion of privacy as a classroom subject worthy of distinct study is gaining momentum far beyond the narrow niches of First Amendment lawyers and computer hackers.

    Using a privacy curriculum developed at Fordham Law School in New York, educators there and at another dozen of the country’s top law schools want to equip adolescents growing up in a digital world with a user manual that has little to do with apps and pixel resolution.

    At the St. Michael School in suburban St. Louis, middle-school students recently learned how to manage their digital reputations. Led by a law-student instructor from nearby Washington University, the preteens discussed how facial recognition software is used everywhere from Facebook to the local mall. As the cellphone increasingly becomes an early adolescent rite of passage, they debated the legal and ethical issues raised by spending hours each day online or texting with friends. […] Read more »