Protecting student privacy

Waldo Kuipers at Microsoft blogs on the issue of protecting student privacy.

New Zealand’s schools work hard to earn the trust of their communities. As part of the important work they do, schools need to collect and hold a large body of confidential and private information about children and their families.

The 2020 Communications Trust ICT in Schools survey suggests that if digital records and email are not already used extensively in every New Zealand school, they soon will be.

In recent years some schools have taken a step further, and are starting to send information to computing services outside the school grounds for storage and processing.

In the hands of teachers who have been supported with skills development and the freedom to innovate, new devices and cloud services present wonderful opportunities to prepare students for the future.

Microsoft had Curia do a survey of parents on their expectations. The results were:

  • 95% want schools to require providers of computing and Internet services to commit by contract that they’ll only use student data to deliver services to schools, not for the companies’ own purposes.
  • 97% of parents want schools to ensure student data is used only for education, and not for commercial exploitation.
  • 99% of parents indicated their belief that schools’ duty of care should apply to the computer and Internet environment they provide for student learning.

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