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Cybersecurity & Standards, Equity in Civic Technology, Privacy & Data

Report: Privacy and Equity in the New School Year

As government leaders, policymakers, and technology companies continue to navigate the global coronavirus pandemic, CDT is actively monitoring the latest responses and working to ensure they are grounded in civil rights and liberties. Our policy teams aim to help leaders craft solutions that balance the unique needs of the moment, while still respecting and upholding individual human rights. Find more of our work at

As local and state governments, businesses, and institutions across the country implement the first phases of reopening after weeks of lockdown, schools are beginning to plan for learning this fall. Many of those plans are still in development, but schools are considering options on a spectrum that may be divided into three groups: returning entirely to in-person learning, remaining entirely online through remote learning, or some mixture of the two, known as “hybrid learning.” Hybrid learning models may involve assigning students to in-person or remote learning based on individual or familial risk factors, rotating students through remote learning, or staggering arrival and dismissal times.

Each of those models is likely to involve collecting and sharing student health information and remediating privacy gaps in remote educational technology (edtech). This guidance offers options for schools to protect student privacy as they implement those models. Student privacy is rooted in the principle that students and families should control their own information, and that principle is even more important during disruptions such as a global pandemic. Massive shifts to new learning tools entail massive shifts in transmitting and storing student information, increasing the risk that information about a student’s academics, health, or family may be disclosed to the wrong individuals. The options in this report will help preserve students’ and families’ right to control their information.

Read the full report here.

Read more on this report from Cody here.