Stand Up for Student Privacy

We’re at a crucial juncture in our efforts to protect student privacy.

Fueled by accountability mandates and pressure to incorporate technology into classrooms, schools are increasingly moving their operational and educational functions to online vendors. A survey by Fordham’s Center on Law and Information Privacy found that “95 percent of schools rely on cloud services for a diverse range of functions,” including data hosting, planning bus routes, classroom instruction, and assessments. And that leaves sensitive student data—which may include information like students' names, addresses, social security numbers, test scores, disabilities, disciplinary records, and sensitive medical information—vulnerable to hackers and misuse by marketers.

A host of bills have been introduced in Congress to protect students’ sensitive information. Unfortunately, many of these bills don’t provide enough protection for children and families. And the companies that profit from the commercialization of student data are fighting to ensure there is no meaningful student privacy reform.

That’s why CCFC is teaming up with our friends at the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy (PCSP) to urge Congress to incorporate five key principles into any law or policy regarding personal student data. Will you take a moment and urge your Representatives to support these important principles?

  1. Transparency
  2. No commercial uses
  3. Security protections
  4. Parental/student rights
  5. Enforcement

If adopted, the principles would go a long way towards giving students the commercial-free schools they deserve. Not only would the selling of personal student data and/or use for marketing purposes be prohibited, but any instructional software or websites assigned to students by their schools would be required to be free of advertising.

Thanks, in part, to parent activists around the country, student privacy is a hot topic in Washington right now. This is our opportunity to get student privacy right. We know that policymakers are hearing regularly from the ed tech industry and others who hope to profit off of data collected from students in school and during the completion of homework assignments. That’s why it’s so important that Congress hear from you, too.

Will you stand up for student privacy and commercial-free schools? Visit: http://org.salsalabs.com/o/621/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=18327