A report from Fordham Law’s Center on Law and Information Policy was cited in a Teen Vogue article examining the many ways education technology is tracking and gathering student data.
Over the past few decades, the role of education technology in classrooms has burgeoned, along with parallel concerns about student privacy and data protection. In August, three Democratic senators sent letters to Facebook and Google as well as several education companies — including the College Board, Pearson, ACT, and McGraw-Hill — demanding explanations about exactly where the data they gather on students goes. The letters came roughly one year after the FBI issued a public service announcement about the vulnerabilities of education technology. Specifically mentioned in one of the senators’ letters was a Wall Street Journal report about an incident last year in which hackers sought ransom money for the personal information of applicants to three U.S. colleges.
A study published in 2018 by Fordham Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy (CLIP) analyzed the education technology and student data marketplace over several years, and the results were a wake-up call. Researchers found not only an “overall lack of transparency in the student information commercial marketplace” but also no federal oversight to address the issue.
“Currently there is no federal privacy law in the United States that specifically targets the use, retention or resale of student data by private-sector data brokers,” the report said.