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Daily Archives: June 10, 2014

A Snapshot of K-12 Cloud-Based Ed Tech & Student Privacy in Early 2014

Plunkett, Leah and Solow-Niederman, Alicia and Gasser, Urs, Framing the Law & Policy Picture: A Snapshot of K-12 Cloud-Based Ed Tech & Student Privacy in Early 2014 (June 3, 2014). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2014-10. Available for download via SSRN: 

A growing number of primary and secondary (K-12) school systems nationwide are adopting cloud-based educational technologies (“ed tech”), tools which “enable the transition of computing resources — including information processing, collection, storage, and analysis — away from localized systems (i.e., on an end user’s desktop or laptop computer) to shared, remote systems (i.e., on servers located at a data center away from the end user accessible through a network)” in the course of educational and/or academic administrative work. Cloud-based ed tech possesses unique innovative potential that can best be unlocked when the opportunities it presents are considered alongside the importance of protecting student privacy.  This paper, building upon findings of the ongoing Student Privacy Initiative under the auspices of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, provides a snapshot of key aspects of a diverse — and heated — law, policy, and implementation debate that is taking place in the rapidly evolving cloud-based ed tech landscape. It aims to provide policy and decision-makers at the school district, local government, state government, and federal government levels with greater information about and clarity around the avenues available to them in evaluating privacy options. This analysis focuses on three overarching questions: who in the educational system should make cloud-based ed tech decisions; when is parental consent needed for the adoption of these technologies; and how can data transferred, stored, and analyzed through these products be kept secure and, as necessary, de-identified? Though there is often no bright line rule that can strike an ideal balance of these and other imperatives — including normative commitments, innovative educational opportunities, and evolving privacy attitudes and expectations — the authors offer the following pragmatic recommendations based on the cloud ed tech landscape at this moment in time: 
(1) Employing (temporary) centralization of cloud-based ed tech decision-making at the district level to foster the legal, technical, and other expert oversight necessary in this complex space without stifling capacity for local experimentation; 
(2) Examining the adoption of user-friendly labeling of cloud-based ed tech products to increase transparency and encourage compliance with parental consent and other legal requirements; and 
(3) Adopting FIPPs (Fair Information Practice Principles) and other best practice standards by industry providers to increase data security and protection.
Critically, any such recommendations must preserve room for future development as the student privacy and ed tech picture continues to evolve. The authors also recognize that the proposed practices are in flux and have to be read as a supplement rather than a substitute for careful consideration of more fundamental reform of the current student privacy framework.”

CIO/CISO Insights 2014

Achieving Results and Confronting Obstacles: “TechAmerica has conducted an annual Federal government Chief Information Officer (CIO) survey for 24 years, with the support of Grant Thornton LLP. In 2014, 59 information technology (IT) leaders participated in the survey, including CIOs of major federal departments and staff from OMB and Capitol Hill. Professionals from  TechAmerica member firms… Continue Reading

Changing Work and Work-Family Conflict

Changing Work and Work-Family Conflict – Evidence from the Work, Family, and Health Network. American Sociological Review, May 29, 2014. Published online before print May 4, 2014, doi: 10.1177/0003122414531435 “Schedule control and supervisor support for family and personal life may help employees manage the work-family interface. Existing data and research designs, however, have made it difficult to conclusively identify… Continue Reading

Semi-Annual Report Spring 2014 – CFPB

“Congress created the CFPB to stand on the side of consumers and ensure they are treated fairly in the financial marketplace. Since we opened our doors, we’ve been focused on making consumer financial markets work better for the American people, and helping them improve their financial lives. In our fifth Semi-Annual Report, we describe our efforts… Continue Reading

ACLU – NSA Says It’s Too Large, Complex to Comply With Court Order

Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project News release:” “In an era of too-big-to-fail banks, we should have known it was coming: An intelligence agency too big to rein in — and brazen enough to say so. In a remarkable legal filing on Friday afternoon, the NSA told a federal court that its spying operations are… Continue Reading

ISOO releases its FY 2013 Annual Report to the President

National Archive and Records Administration. The Information Security Oversight Office’s (ISOO) Report for Fiscal Year 2013, as required by Executive Order 13526, “Classified National Security Information” (the Order). “Original classification authorities, also called original classifiers, are those individuals designated in writing, either by the President, by selected agency heads, or by designated senior agency officials… Continue Reading

40 maps that explain food in America

Ezra Klein and Susannah Locke on June 9, 2014 ‘The future of the nations will depend on the manner of how they feed themselves, wrote the French epicurean Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1826. Almost 200 years later, how nations feed themselves has gotten a lot more complicated. That’s particularly true in the US, where food insecurity coexists with… Continue Reading Update: Air Quality Index – What you Need to Know to be Safe Outdoors

“During the warmer summer months you tend to spend a lot more time outdoors. Besides using proper sun protection, you should be also aware of the air quality. The Air Quality Index (AQI) tells you how clean or polluted your outdoor air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI scale runs… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Afghanistan, Biosurveillance, Health Care Access, Immigration Technology, Managing for Results, Nuclear Weapons

AFGHANISTAN: Oversight and Accountability of U.S. Assistance, GAO-14-680T: Published: Jun 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2014. BIOSURVEILLANCE: Observations on the Cancellation of BioWatch Gen-3 and Future Considerations for the Program, GAO-14-267T: Published: Jun 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2014. HEALTH CARE ACCESS: Improved Oversight, Accountability, and Prioritization Can Improve Access for Native American Veterans, GAO-14-489: Published: Jun 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun… Continue Reading

Redesigning the central bank for financial stability responsibilities

Redesigning the central bank for financial stability responsibilities – Speech by Mr Jaime Caruana, General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements, on the occasion of the 135th Anniversary Conference of the Bulgarian National Bank, Sofia, 6 June 2014. “Central banks are being redesigned to better deal with their financial stability responsibilities – in just five years, over… Continue Reading