Parsing Student Privacy: Creating a Parent-Focused Framework for Conversation

[Commentary] Parents shouldn’t have to choose between protecting their children and taking advantage of new education technologies. Educators, policymakers, and companies need to consider privacy issues with a framework that incorporates parents’ point of view: Will education data be used directly to support their children, benefit students collectively, or advance extra-educational interests?

Parents, educators, and policymakers need a shared vocabulary and framework that integrates parent and student perspectives into the broader consideration of systemic benefits. They must adopt more nuanced conceptions of privacy to move beyond crude binary solutions. While the interests and preferences of individual student and parents cannot, of course, always prevail, it is vital that their concerns are taken seriously. Doing so will not only advance the student privacy debate, but promote more refined reforms. Perhaps more importantly, it will help build the trust essential to the educational enterprise – data-driven or otherwise.

[Elana Zeide is a Research Fellow at New York University's Information Law Institute]


Parsing Student Privacy: Creating a Parent-Focused Framework for Conversation