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privacy-pledge

Student Privacy Pledge racks up signatures


More and more ed-tech companies have signed on to honor responsible privacy practices

privacy-pledgeThe Student Privacy Pledge, a list of 12 commitments that school service providers have made to affirm K-12 student information is kept private and secure, has grown to include 108 signatures from ed-tech companies, according to the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

The Pledge was launched in October 2014 with 14 signatory companies, grew to 75 by early January, and has now reached a milestone – surpassing 100 signatories. The recent increase was fueled in part by President Obama’s strong support of the Pledge, announced on January 12th as part of a suite of policy proposals designed to further student privacy.

Unlike proposed legislative or regulatory actions, which may not go into effect for some period of time, the Pledge is binding and enforceable as soon as each company signs it. Signatory companies are listed online at www.studentprivacypledge.org.

Next page: What organizations are saying about the need for student data privacy

“Passing 100 signatories to the Student Privacy Pledge is a clear affirmation of the industry’s commitment to the responsible use of student data,” said Jules Polonetsky, executive director, FPF. “We are grateful to the President for championing the Pledge, and we applaud the companies on the Pledge for their leadership on this issue.”

“The Pledge has strong momentum, with more than 100 high-tech companies signing to articulate their safeguarding of student information,” said Mark Schneiderman, SIIA’s senior director of education policy. “Along with existing laws and school agreements, the Pledge is part of a strong legal framework that ensures teachers and students can feel safe about technology use in school.”

In addition to the Pledge, SIIA and FPF continue other student privacy leadership efforts. On February 17-18 in Washington, D.C., FPF – in partnership with ReThink Education and with participation from SIIA – is organizing and hosting its first-ever Student Privacy Boot Camp for start-ups, small, and medium-sized ed-tech companies. Similarly, SIIA has provided an analysis of existing and new student privacy laws for its member companies. These and related programs help ensure vendors handling student data understand and comply with privacy laws and best practices.

The Student Privacy Pledge outlines a dozen commitments regarding the responsible collection, maintenance, and use of student personal information. The Pledge was developed by FPF and SIIA with guidance from school service providers, educator organizations, and other stakeholders following a convening by U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (CO) and Luke Messer (IN). The Pledge has also been endorsed by the National PTA and the National School Boards Association, among others.

The full text of the Pledge, more information about how to support it, and a list of current signatories are available at studentprivacypledge.org.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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