- The U.S. Department of Education has issued a model terms of service guidance that aims to help schools determine what apps have strong data security and privacy safeguards in place.
- The guidance helps schools quickly search for any clauses that allow student data to be sold or marketed, as well as tips on ensuring solid security and parental access measures are in place.
- The checklist can be used by administrators and teachers choosing new education apps, as it will allow them to navigate complicated legal jargon to find out what exactly a company can do with student data.
Protecting student data has become a much bigger issue as the educational marketplace continues to expand. And while the education department's guidelines are primarily meant to help schools understand what companies are doing, it's promising to see companies are simultaneously taking steps to be more transparent.
In February, the number of companies agreeing to the Future of Privacy Forum and Software & Information Industry Association's Student Privacy Pledge ballooned to 109. By signing the pledge, which launched in October with 14 signatures, ed tech companies promise to adhere to a list of 12 commitments aimed at ensuring data security. It's clear from that agreement, which President Obama vocally threw his support behind, and this new guidance that the White House is serious about ensuring data is protected according to expectations under laws like FERPA and COPPA.