Student Data: Privacy Issues and the Importance of Security

Education Technology Insights | Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Educational institutions accumulate large volumes of student data and managing it with due regards to privacy is essential in today's vulnerable data privacy era.

FREMONT, CA: Schools and other educational institutions collect and manage vast quantities of student information. The protection of this data is of primary importance since this data belongs to the most vulnerable section of society- students. With rising concerns about data privacy and the increasing value of data in every industry, it is imperative that student data collected by schools is handled with intense care. To prevent data from going into the wrong hands, regulations are quintessential.

The number of regulations regarding data privacy of student data has increased and in most cases, has also been strengthened. Educational companies, institutions as well as service providers in the sector have to be compliant to these in addition to the local legislation concerning data protection. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is something that should be distinctly marked and kept from being utilized for purposes like marketing, commercial, or political gains. Functioning through agreements is the best approach while dealing with PII.

Along with the usage agreement, the protection policy and the data destruction policy are also imperative. Before a company gets access to PII, institutions must ensure transparency regarding the measures in place to ensure the protection of data. Response in the case of an attempted data breach is a criterion that institutions must prioritize. Termination of an agreement should be coupled with data deletion, ideally. Details regarding how companies plan on removing the data that they had owned decrease the chance of data exploitation. Sometimes, districts or schools permit data access even after termination of contract provided compliance is not compromised.

In case a company allows the student data that it has access to, for third party application, it must make sure that standards of privacy are still maintained. A consistent method of access and use keeps legal complications away and benefits the company. Stakeholders and companies that need student data should try to be on the same page through transparent and communicative efforts. Promoting safety and facilitating the legitimate use of student data is in the best interest of everyone.

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