Seeking Counsel: Privacy Concerns

May 24, 2018 By Melissa A. Kern
National School Board Association Newsroom

Computer software and mobile apps and other web-based tools continue to swiftly be adopted in all aspects of education. Traditional paper planners and textbooks are being replaced with learning management systems and continuously updated online textbooks. Districts have been adopting productivity tools like G Suite for Education (formerly Google Apps for Education) in their classrooms at an incredible pace.

In 2017, Google reported 70 million worldwide users—an extraordinary number considering that G Suite was first made available to educators in 2010. With much of education technology, student data including the most sensitive—think disability and behavioral information—is entrusted to the care of third-party education technology providers.

When deciding to use this technology, schools must be mindful of their legal obligations regarding student data as well as related privacy and security risks, since schools cannot outsource their compliance obligations to their service providers.

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