As you may have heard in last night’s State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama spoke of his administration’s efforts to strengthen data privacy throughout the United States and build safeguards against potential abuse. He talked specifically about the privacy of families, and especially children. The newly created Student Privacy Pledge is an initiative designed to help protect children’s private information. Developed through a joint effort with the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the pledge is also endorsed by the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and several other education groups.
As someone who has worked in the privacy space now for many years, I am so pleased to share that AvePoint is a signatory of the Student Privacy Pledge. By signing the pledge, AvePoint has promised to ensure that we safeguard student privacy, and we have agreed to specific commitments regarding the collection, maintenance, and use of student personal information.
As very young children we are taught that we must share with others, but that we should not take something without asking or receiving permission. These are the rules of society, and most of us learn them on the playground, in the classroom, and at home. These rules should also apply to personal information, and nowhere is this more important than with technology companies serving the education space.
Unfortunately, not all organizations are playing by the rules we’ve come to expect. So what is the answer to solving the privacy problem? As alluded to in last night’s address, the Obama administration is planning several legislative proposals for granting industry liability relief on sharing threat information, establishing a national data breach standard, and protecting personal information as well as consumer transactions. Regarding privacy specifically, though, I am not convinced that legislation and regulation alone will solve this problem.
I think that the key lies in a combination of industry self-regulation, legislation, and the power of consumers themselves. We as consumers can self-regulate by choosing not to use a company’s technologies or support its business if it violates regulations and/or stated privacy policies, and if the company continues to circumvent its policies or those of others, our lawmakers should act to provide further consequences. In the meantime, though, the Student Privacy Pledge is a great way to help bring awareness to the very important issue of personal privacy.
Interested in learning more? Be sure to visit the Student Privacy Pledge website today.