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Age of Anti Privacy & Student’s Personal Information

Gone is the time when the safest community on the internet were the students. Technology is continuously modernizing while emerging more and  more economical devices, packed with extensive applications. The tough row to hoe! The kids in the school are now provided with notebooks to support collaborative projects and team work.

Different technological giants are very diligent when it comes to provide pre-installed applications in these notebooks. These notebooks come with various educational applications from popular technological giants including Google, Microsoft and Apple.

The Google Chrome books with Educational Applications are very prominent these days in schools. These educational applications provide support for Management of students, Controls for teachers and students and Grade assignment with various brilliant features.

Google Apps for Education to Reach 110 Million Users by 2020

These educational applications are being used on large scale. Among many of the students and teacher get facilitated by these applications.

The ball and chain in the situation comes when these applications start to do what they aren’t supposed to do.

Recently the tech giant Google has countered the allegation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The Google has been blamed for collecting the data of students by means of Google Educational Applications and exploiting the personal information of students for non educational purposes.

Further, Google has been blamed for revoking its k-12 Students Privacy Pledge by using the obtained data for the purpose of advertising, selling and for various non educational purposes. The collected data includes the personal information of students.

The Pledge & Student’s Online Security

The Students Privacy Pledge was introduced by Future of Privacy Forum and The Software & Information Industry Association in order to protect Students data privacy. The pledge consisted following instructions for service providers:

  • Not Sell Student Information: The personal and private information of students including the name, age and parental details are not allowed to be sold to third party at any cost.
  • Not Behaviorally Target Advertising: At any cost the data of students which they enter in the educational applications should not be exploited for advertising purpose.
  • Use Data For Authorized Education Purposes Only: The data obtained from the students should be utilized strictly for educational purpose only.
  • Not Change Privacy Policies Without Notice and Choice: Under any circumstances the policies and rules should never be overlooked without notifying the authorities.
  • Enforce Strict Limits on Data Retention: The data which is acquired from the students should be utilized according to the prescribed limits.
  • Support Parental Access To and Correction of Error In Their Children’s Information: The parents should have full rights to access and alter the data if the correction is required.
  • Provide Comprehensive Security Standards: The obtained data should be maintained with concrete security standards to provide security and assurance to students.
  • Be Transparent About Collection And Use Of Data: The service providers should be fair about the collection and utilization of data.

This pledge was took into consideration in order safeguard the data privacy of each and every student who shares his information over the internet for educational purposes.

According to Mark Schneiderman, Senior Director of Education Policy ;

“We introduce this Pledge as a clear commitment to safeguard the privacy and security of all student personal information. Current law provides extensive restrictions on the use of student information, and this industry pledge will build on and detail that protection to promote even greater confidence in the appropriate use of student data.”

The students need to use a VPN now, in order to protect their identity and stop getting tracked down by the Google map services. 

Google’s Response

However, Google denies the allegation and claimed that no data of students was detained for the purpose of advertising and selling. Furthermore, the detained data is neither utilized for the development of Google products itself.

According to Jonathan Rochelle, Director of Google Apps for Education ;

“While we appreciate the EFF’s focus on student data privacy, we are confident that our tools comply with both the law and our promises, including the Student Privacy Pledge, which we signed earlier this year”

 After the news spread more and more students started to worry more about the protection of their personal information over the internet. While many student used VPN and decided to protect their identities along with their location.