Today is the international Data Privacy Day.
Each year for the past few years, this site has announced events and resources during the month of January. For this year, I had been working on some research affecting student privacy. As part of that research, I had filed requests under freedom of information laws and reviewed a number of audits addressing the security and privacy of student records. I had hoped to release the report today.
That project was necessarily put aside for the past few weeks to deal with family. Eventually, I will finish the analysis and report and release it.
For now, I would simply remind schools and all entities that if you collect data, you need to seriously protect it. The amount of information collected on students and their families is still both staggering and unnecessary. By Data Privacy Day 2013, it would be nice to see the U.S. Department of Education specifically urge and instruct public schools and local educational agencies to delete, delete, delete certain data on a regular basis. The Department of Education should also implement a system of security audits and consequences for schools that do not adequately protect personal and sensitive student information.