SDPC Update: December 2019

SDPC Update - Dec 2019“Setting common expectations between end users and marketplace providers” was one of the original goals for the Student Data Privacy Consortium.  We can say that we are moving the needle on that goal but now we can collectively add to that “moving the marketplace toward greater student data privacy” – and it is all because of this vibrant Community!

This SDPC Community Update will try to bring you up to speed with all that is happening in the Community which is now 5 years old.  When we share all that you and the rest of the Community has done during that short time period, with no outside resource support, people are amazed and constantly asking how we have pulled it all off.  Pretty simple:  work on a common “pain point” that people on the front lines need addressing, support their collective work, and get out of their way!  Everyone involved should be very proud and look forward to continuing to push the envelope for the next 4 years!

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Membership update

SDPC-NewMembersThe Community continues its growth!  We are thrilled that in the past year the Community has continued its exponential growth.  While some are a part of the Community to indicate their support of addressing student privacy, others roll up their sleeves and get active in one of our working groups.  Each Community member needs to keep recruiting end users and marketplace providers to join the charge!


GEPS / PODs Update

Excitement continues to grow over the Global Education Privacy Standard (GEPS) or “Privacy over the wire” as it is more commonly known. GEPS is the only published solution to manage privacy metadata over the wire.

Currently there are two proof of concepts (POC) in the works. One in New South Wales Australia and one in Massachusetts USA. The “MA Data Hub” is leveraging a statewide data collection process, built upon SIF infrastructure, to provide value add services such as rostering and privacy enforcement. SDPC Members Cedar Labs, HMH and Follett are all participating in the initial POC to leverage Follett ASPEN SIF data to roster an HMH product while delivering a POD to enforce privacy. We see PODs as the future of privacy enforcement over the wire.


Legal Working Group Update

The Legal Working Group, led by their fearless leader Mark Williams from F3, is progressing on the work around the development of a “National Privacy Clause Set”.  The group meets every other week and address each clause that both end users and vendors can agree to be a part of a nationwide-usable agreement for contracts.  As the work continues on the 28 clauses, the group is identifying additional state-specific requirements that could be added to the set – but they are finding the additions are few and far between.  The goal is to have an agreed upon set to be brought back to the Community for review and approval in the spring.  Great hard and tedious work crew!


International Activities

Steve-Smith_Stuart-McGrigor_Larry-FruthIn a recent junket overseas, the SDPC was “front and center” for national meetings in both New Zealand and Australia!  In New Zealand, the Department of Education rolled out their national SIF Project with the release of their first national SIF-based data model.  Added to that celebration was the work of the SDPC being highlighted to NZ staff, NZ vendors and then to a collective set of NZ and AU state and territory CIOs interested in enabling “privacy on the wire”.

Then onto the AU where the SIF AU Community Day highlighted their great work around their SIF-based national data projects but again highlighted the work of the SDPC Community aligned with privacy work of National Standards Interoperability Project (NSIP) in supporting the clear and relevant communication of privacy roles between end users and vendors.  Watch for big things from both countries that may be added to the Resource Registry to make it truly international!


Get Your Travel Request In!

Interoperability and Privacy SymposiumThe SDPC and Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, together with several Partners, will be hosting two days (March 18-19, 2020) of “tactical” data interoperability and privacy conversations with real-world work products.   These meetings are being held in conjunction with the CoSN meetings to streamline travel requests and planning requirements.

While many are focused on managing the interoperability and privacy of student data, only A4L/SDPC is addressing both in the same place at the same time.  Sessions on privacy complexities; setting a foundation for interoperability; working ‘Strategies’ session; an overview of Massachusetts ‘Data Hub’; as well as valuable takeaways for participants to implement in their own institutions.

This event will be of interest to any/all School District and State Leaders committed to data privacy and data exchange.  Keynote speakers include CEDS, CoSN, Future of Privacy Forum, PTAC, Project Unicorn, SIIA, and numerous state and local CIOs – all the major players including media.  We would love to have you there front and center – space is limited!


Just for the record

Any successful project, if it is truly impacting a community, needs to periodically address growth items that require some clarifying information.  The SDPC is no different and it has become a positive barometer on the Community’s success!

>  Usage of Alliance Data Privacy Agreements.  Recently some Community Members have asked about some vendor agreements looking similar to their Alliance agreements but labelled “Modeled After the Student Data Privacy Consortium Agreements”.  First, there is NO SDPC Agreement – not yet.  Each agreement is Alliance by Alliance in development and usage.  Second, the SDPC Governance Group is discussing this somewhat confusing usage of the Community’s brand and products.  They will be engaging those players using these modified agreements.  Modifications to existing Alliance Agreements need to be done in partnership between end users and their providers and indicated on the Resource Registry – not done unilaterally and then presented to customers.  Again, the goal of the Community: “to set common expectations between vendors and end users”!

>  Google Chromebook App Hub.  We hope you have seen the announcement of our partnership in supporting Google with their Chromebook App Hub Project.  When you visit the product pages under “Data Policy and Accessibility” and you can see those companies/applications that have signed agreements in the SDPC Resource Registry and/or are members of the SDPC Community. It is critical that these players become aware of their roles in student privacy in their products and also ideally become an active and supportive part of the Community. For every product engaged with SDPC there is a link that queries the Registry to return what DPAs the vendor has signed. Be sure to understand the commitment of each vendor/product listed in the Google App Hub as a badge for a product does not mean it is approved in each district – only that an agreement has been signed somewhere in the Registry.

>  Research Data Sharing Agreement.  An “unintentional success consequence” of our work is that some Community members, with great intentions and support of the Community’s work, are using the agreement clauses with their research partners.  A reminder that these clauses have been developed to be a part of the end user and marketplace provider agreements and not data sharing agreements.  The good news is that the emergence of this issue has prioritized the development of a National Data Sharing Agreement framework as the next project for the Legal Working Group after the finalize the National Clause Set.  Keep up with the needs identification.


SDPC Vendor Survey

The Community just wrapped a survey of our vendor members asking “what do you want out of the Community?”.  In summary they indicated:

SDPC_PreferredProviderProgramThey are involved because: They want to be proactive in customer needs/requirements and marketing engagement opportunities (both 75%)

They are interested in: More opportunities for privacy professional development (75%) and the Preferred Provider Program (70%)

They would like to participate in: State leadership interactions, periodic presentations on their products/services and promoting the community (all 100%)

Watch this space soon for a proposed new “SDPC Vendor Task Force” to allow for opportunities identified in the survey and better “plug in” sessions for marketplace providers who are a critical partner in our goal towards setting common expectations!


New Task Force Kick Off

The SDPC Governance Group has approved a new Task Force in the Community – Legislative Updates.   This group is created to help schools, states and marketplace players understand how they can proactively and positively reactively respond to state and federal legislative activity.  This group will not dive into the politics but be a resource for many uninformed legislators on the impact of their work and effective practices in other successful legislation.  Tyler Park from FPF will help drive this group.


 “Watch For” Teasers

>  New Resource Site: There are some many great resources on the SDPC site and we recently have changed the navigation of it to reflect your role (school/district, vendor, etc.) but we will be updating the content and allow for more self-tutorials and easily accessible SDPC promotion materials you can steal from for your messaging and getting the great word out!

>  Web Site Content Redesign: Revisions coming soon to the SDPC web site to align it more closely with the current A4L site, allow for easier navigation and continue to promotion of the move from “projects” to support for the Community’s expanding activities.  We will love to have some members review the new site before going live so if interested drop a line to Penny ( to “raise your hand”!

>  Registry Enhancements: Per your feedback, we have been making ongoing updates to the Resource Registry site.  Over the holidays we will continue to streamline navigation and continue our movement from “projects to support”.


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