Student Privacy Pledge – Hits 150!

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Pledge signatories

Ed Tech Student Privacy Pledge reaches 150 signatories

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) are pleased to recognize that the Student Privacy Pledge reached the milestone of 150 education technology companies who have signed. The Pledge represents industry’s public commitment to the responsible handling of student data and provides accountability for signatory school service providers. The result is a bolstering of the public trust necessary for continued technology access for school operations and student learning – technology that is critical to the nation’s continued educational and economic competitiveness.

The K-12 Student Privacy Pledge was introduced by FPF and SIIA in October 2014 with 14 original signatories and took effect in January 2015 as a legally enforceable agreement for companies that provide services to schools. The twelve specific commitments in the Pledge detail ongoing industry practices that both meet the demands of families and schools and track key federal and state laws. By signing the Pledge, school service providers clearly articulate their adherence to these practices to schools and parents regarding the collection, use, maintenance, and retention of student data.

Signatories of the Student Privacy Pledge promise to:

  • Not sell student information
  • Not behaviorally target advertising
  • Use data for authorized education purposes only
  • Not materially change privacy policies without notice and choice
  • Enforce strict limits on data retention
  • Support parental access to, and correction of errors in, their children’s information
  • Provide comprehensive security standards to protect student data
  • Be transparent about collection and use of data

The Pledge adds to an existing framework of student data protections, which also include existing laws, contracts, and company privacy policies. A company’s security and other commitments made under the Student Privacy Pledge are legally enforceable under Section 5 of the federal Consumer Protection Act.

“Although many states have passed student privacy laws, the Pledge creates an instantly enforceable and nationally applicable commitment to student data privacy. The Pledge, provides a baseline for communication between companies and end users that builds trust,” said Kobie Pruitt, education policy manager, FPF.

“The Pledge demonstrates the industry’s commitment to these strict legally enforceable best practices for data security and the safeguarding of student privacy,” said Mark Schneiderman, senior director of education policy, SIIA.

FPF and SIIA are proud to facilitate the efforts of education technology companies to take leadership in protecting student privacy by signing the Student Privacy Pledge. We look forward to a continual increase in the number of companies joining this effort, and agreeing to be held publically accountable to the student information safeguards embodied in the Pledge.

NOTE: This blog was cross-posted at both http://fpf.org/category/blog/ and http://blog.siia.net/.