Families & the Community

Data-Privacy Questions From Parents That Schools Should Be Ready to Answer

By Benjamin Herold — September 11, 2018 1 min read
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A new guide for parents outlines seven key questions that parents should be asking their children’s schools about student-data privacy—offering a roadmap for the issues that K-12 leaders should be prepared to discuss.

The guide was released Tuesday by the Future of Privacy Forum, a Washington think.

For schools and districts awash in technology, much of which is often marketed directly to teachers, answering even the most basic question—"Which websites, services, and apps will my child’s classroom use this year?"—could prove challenging.

Other topics include directory information, such as name, address, and contact information, which schools often share with third parties; the push for high-tech solutions to school safety concerns; cybersecurity; and (often-lacking) teacher training.

“Back-to-school is a perfect time to ask questions about teachnology and data use in schools,” the guide advises parents. “By asking the right questions, you can be informed about the policies and procedures being used to protect your child’s information and be in a position to speak up and demand meaningful privacy safeguards.”

The full list of suggested questions from the Future of Privacy Forum is below. The full guide is available here.

  1. Which websites, services, and apps will my child’s classroom use this year?
  2. How does my school handle directory information?
  3. What is my school’s approach to school safety, and what does it mean for my child’s privacy?
  4. Does my child’s school administer surveys?
  5. What are the rules for recording devices in my child’s school?
  6. How is my child’s information secured?
  7. How does the school train teachers and staff to protect student information?

Photo: Getty

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.