White House calls for updates to student privacy laws
- A White House report released Thursday called for an update to student data privacy laws.
- The two laws currently regulating the use of student data — FERPA and COPPA — were passed prior to the creation of the Internet and the advent of smartphones, tablets, apps, cloud computing, and big data.
- Per the report, any new regulations passed should guarantee that data collected from students is used purely for educational purposes.
Did the report call for too little too late? While it recognized the potential that technological innovations hold for education, the report's recommendations are coming after numerous companies have already collected and used student data for decidedly non-educational purposes. Google, for one, only this week decided to discontinue its mining of student data from Apps for Education, and that data was reportedly used to target ads back to those students. And uproar over the potential security and use of data stored in the cloud also led InBloom to shut its doors for good earlier this month.
Still, the White House report was hailed as a major step forward by advocacy group Common Sense Media, which said in a statement that "as the internet continues to become a source of learning, innovation, and economic growth, the privacy and security of our nation's kids will be a national priority."
- Education Week Student Privacy Laws Need Updating, White House Report Says
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