School districts, ed organizations launch student privacy initiative
- A group of 28 school districts and school-based organizations has founded a new initiative, the Trusted Learning Environment, which is intended to codify and publicize school districts' privacy practices.
- The program will give districts a seal indicating their compliance with a set of best practices on student data protection and privacy, currently in development.
- The initiative is backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a large donor to education and ed tech causes, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.
Over the next six months, the 28 school districts and the four organizations — the Consortium for School Networking, the School Superintendents Association, the Association of School Business Officials International), and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development — will be developing the criteria districts must adhere to in order to receive the seal. In doing so, they will join several other similar initiatives intended to guide the privacy practices of districts and their private industry partners, including the Student Privacy Pledge and the Student Data Principles.
"No one is exempt from the threat of cyber attacks. With cyber attacks exponentially increasing on a daily basis, it is only a matter of time before any one of us becomes a victim of a cyber attack," said John Musso, the executive director of ASBO International, eSchool News reports. "As parents entrust their children to schools with the expectation of safety and security, so do they entrust the sensitive data that accompanies that child. When the security of that information is at risk, so is the physical safety of the child. No child should be put at risk because personal and educational information has been breached."