You may have seen the recent release of the State Student Privacy Report Card which analyzes the thoroughness and quality of student-data privacy laws passed in the U.S. in the past five years. If you have not seen it, the grades are not good. On the one hand it shows that there is a lot of work to be done on the legislative front regarding student privacy, it also does not address or advocate for supporting the “on the ground” realities schools and districts face every day in their roles as data stewards.
This “you should…” versus “you can by…” is the reason that the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) was initiated. All the legislation, pledges, promises, suggested guidelines and signatories have elevated the conversation around student data privacy but not the “how” to act to ensure it. The three key activities being addressed by this non-profit, membership driven community of thousands of schools, dozens of states, numerous countries AND marketplace providers are tactical with possible immediate how to impact:
- Privacy Contract Vetting: The Common Contract Framework is a set of tools allowing schools to manage their numerous applications, streamline contracting for them, and workflow from the identification of an application to its implementation in a school/district – and everyone informed throughout! There are now 7 State Alliances using the same contract clauses for all vendors. That is critical mass!
- Technical Privacy Expectations: The Global Education Privacy Standard (GEPS) will allow the legalese in contracts to be converted into technical requirements so suppliers can get the relevant information they need from their customers and allow them to prove the adherence to those contract terms. This is a collaborative effort between the SDPC and the technical wizards of the Access 4 Learning Community and their SIF Technical Specifications.
To see if your state has an SDPC Alliance (there are 22 now with more coming in each week) you can be a part of, or are interested in learning more about the tools, community and support in your tactical student privacy issues drop us a line. Don’t wait on legislation to fix this!