How You can Make Your School #PrivacyAware in 2017

Post Date: 01/27/2017
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There is no doubt that data privacy has entered the mainstream. The topic has moved from theoretical discussions held by technology and policy practitioners to water cooler gossip. This has been fueled, in part, by privacy-related stories appearing in the news at an increasing rate over the last few years. Among the most controversial are stories related to the collection of personally identifiable information (PII) from children.

In the US and around the world, there are specific privacy regulations designed to protect children from companies that are overzealous in their collection of data. Many of those mandates, like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), give parents control over what information websites can collect from their kids as well as the right to access their education records. This means, as a business owner or software developer, if you run a website or design an app for children under 13, you must comply with COPPA.

At the same time, many schools are moving to computer-based learning, and children increasingly are technology aware at a young age. Many K-12 IT administrators and teachers are struggling to keep up with the overwhelming amount of apps and technology that is available to them. Schools absolutely can and should take advantage of the latest technologies for the classroom, but they must do so in a way that is privacy aware! That means they should understand the programs and technologies being introduced into the classroom before teachers and children begin to use them. In the past, this wasn’t always easy to do – but AvePoint is here to help.

Where Do I Begin with Data Privacy at My School?

As an official champion of Data Privacy Day 2017 – taking place on Saturday, January 28 – we’re pleased to announce a new program to help schools with privacy awareness and education. Schools can now use the AvePoint Privacy Impact Assessment (APIA) system – a free, fully automated system for conducting privacy impact assessments, designed with and distributed exclusively by the IAPP – to understand how they are collecting data and complying with regulations. To make the tool even more relevant for educational organizations, we’re going to add a free “educator template” for our community of APIA users to utilize.

APIA automates the process of evaluating, assessing, and reporting on the privacy implications of enterprise IT systems and processes. The system:

  • Is 100% FREE, with no limitations or other requirements for use.
  • Automates and centralizes what has traditionally been a manual, decentralized, and tedious process.
  • Helps educators build a repeatable process to validate that the technology they want to bring into the classroom complies with privacy regulations by analyzing how information is collected and managed.
  • Reports on assessments for stakeholder review.
  • Allows educators to innovate in the classroom while protecting the privacy of their students from the beginning of a project, not at the end.

How Can I Get the Most from APIA at My School?

To help your school get the most from APIA, we’re launching a special program for educational organizations. Educators, IT administrators, and anyone that would like to participate in the program can download and use APIA now. For qualifying schools, AvePoint will also provide free educational and community tools to help get you started with APIA, including:

  • Educational templates designed to help schools and teachers validate and assess the programs, apps, and websites for conformance with appropriate privacy requirements for students.
  • Educational training and webinars offered live and on demand to learn how to use the tool.
  • A community website, provided by IAPP, as a forum for APIA users to speak with each other and AvePoint experts about the use of the technology.
  • Free technical support for basic installation and use questions.

Where Do I Sign Up?

Visit the IAPP website to download APIA today. To learn more about the educational program or to sign up for alerts as we announce new resources, please contact us today.


Dana Louise Simberkoff is the Chief Risk, Privacy and Information Security Officer at AvePoint. She is responsible for AvePoint’s privacy, data protection, and security programs. She manages a global team of subject matter experts that provide executive level consulting, research, and analytical support on current and upcoming industry trends, technology, standards, best practices, concepts, and solutions for risk management and compliance. Ms. Simberkoff is responsible for maintaining relationships with executive management and multiple constituencies both internal and external to the corporation, providing guidance on product direction, technology enhancements, customer challenges, and market opportunities. Ms. Simberkoff has led speaking sessions at data privacy and security events around the globe. She was featured in Forbes, writes a monthly column for CMSWire, and was highlighted in the CSO Online list of “12 Amazing Women in Security”. She is a current member of the Women Leading Privacy Advisory Board and a past member of the Education Advisory Board for the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Ms. Simberkoff holds a BA from Dartmouth College and a JD from Suffolk University Law School. LinkedIn: Twitter:

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