Ed-Tech Policy Letter to the Editor

Pledge Reflects Ed-Tech Leaders’ Concern for Student-Data Privacy

January 02, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Recent coverage by Education Week makes it clear that two distinct efforts are underway to ensure the safe and appropriate use of student data.

First, politicians in many states are pushing regulatory regimes to secure data largely by placing restrictions on its use. Meanwhile, Internet service providers and educators are creating governance principles and industry commitments to protect data though enhanced standards and accountability. How these two efforts proceed is likely to have a dramatic impact on our students and our nation.

As they modernize through technology, schools are empowered to meet the individualized needs of children, develop more efficient operations, and ensure world-class graduates.

Data is powering this revolution—but with more data comes more risk, making it essential that we assure the effectiveness of current protections: strong existing federal laws; legally binding privacy policies and/or contracts between schools and providers; and industry best practices.

Education technology companies recognize they play a central role in making certain these elements are fully effective. For this reason, in October, leading technology providers released a Pledge to Safeguard Student Privacy.

This commitment provides assurances that companies will use student data only for authorized educational purposes, will not sell data or behaviorally target advertising, will maintain strict security practices, and more. The pledge holds service providers to a high standard while avoiding the one-size-fits-all approach of some regulatory proposals. In doing so, it advances data privacy and security without interfering with the implementation of essential technologies or restricting the opportunities available to schools.

The pledge has drawn praise from parent groups, school boards, and political leaders, all of which are working with service providers to further embrace the pledge.

These leaders and educators recognize that schools must be able to unleash the full potential of data-driven technologies to ensure America’s future competitiveness.

Mark Schneiderman

Senior Director of Education Policy

Software & Information Industry Association

Washington, D.C.

Jules Polonetsky

Executive Director and Co-Chair

Future of Privacy Forum

Washington, D.C.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 07, 2015 edition of Education Week as Pledge Reflects Ed-Tech Leaders’ Concern for Student-Data Privacy


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
From Chaos to Clarity: How to Master EdTech Management and Future-Proof Your Evaluation Processes
The road to a thriving educational technology environment is paved with planning, collaboration, and effective evaluation.
Content provided by Instructure
Special Education Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table - Special Education: Proven Interventions for Academic Success
Special education should be a launchpad, not a label. Join the conversation on how schools can better support ALL students.
Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Ed-Tech Policy States Are Cracking Down on Cellphones in Schools. What That Looks Like
State officials are increasingly taking action to curb student cellphone use.
5 min read
A cell phone sits on a student's desk during a 9th grade honors English class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
A cellphone sits on a student's desk during a 9th grade honors English class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy When Schools Want to Ban Cellphones—But Parents Stand in the Way
Educating parents on the real threats cellphones pose to their children can help allay their concerns about safety.
5 min read
A drowning hand reaching out of a cellphone for help
Ed-Tech Policy One School Leader Banned Cellphones, the Other Embraced Them. What Worked?
Two principals describe their dramatically different policies on cellphones and how they are working.
7 min read
An illustration of a wallpaper of mobile phones, some off, some turned over with stickers on the back covers and some missing with just an outline where they once were.
Ed-Tech Policy 6 Ways Schools Are Managing Students’ Cellphone Use
Students' cellphone use has been a major source of headaches for teachers and principals.
5 min read
A cell phone sits on a student's desk during a 9th grade honors English class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
A cellphone sits on a student's desk during a 9th grade honors English class at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024. The policies that districts and schools use to manage the use of cellphones during the school day vary widely.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week