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‘Tis the Season for Our Children’s Privacy

It’s that time of the year again. The holiday season is almost upon us and with that comes holiday parties, travel plans, and most importantly, gifts. There’s a good chance that some of your gifts will be for kids and might even include the latest tech gadget. From new game consoles to network-connected toys, these gadgets collect, use, and may ultimately share a tremendous amount of information. As you start your holiday shopping, here are some things to know to better protect your children’s privacy. 

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Tech Talk: A News-tritious Media Diet

CDT’s Tech Talk is a podcast where we dish on tech and Internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. In this episode, we chat with Lata Nott about a new web tool aimed at improving your online media diet. We also welcome Teddy Hartman from Howard County Public Schools to get a local perspective on how to address student privacy.

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Endangering Student Privacy in the Name of School Safety

In the wake of tragedy, there is an understandable desire by policymakers to act with urgency. Unfortunately, this can lead to untested policy that may jeopardize the very people it is intended to protect. A recent example is Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. Policymakers and education practitioners should be mindful of the risk of amassing and integrating large amount of data without proving its effectiveness could pose to the wellbeing of children. Limited and appropriate data sharing can play a role in supporting school safety, but it should not come at the expense of the students it is intended to protect.  

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CDT Expands Student Privacy Focus

CDT is expanding our focus on student privacy. Our goal is to provide a balanced voice and solutions-oriented resources around core issues to help educators and policymakers navigate the complex digital world. We’ll be leveraging our existing expertise on privacy & data in other sectors, including how to address bias in digital decision-making up front to prevent unintended consequences.

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Surveying State Student Privacy Laws

In the absence of a comprehensive baseline consumer privacy law, student privacy is addressed by a patchwork of state and federal laws. With more and more states legislating around privacy in new and novel ways, understanding these laws has become challenging. To help sort through this maze of laws, CDT developed a state-by-state survey of student privacy laws, along with a great team at BakerHostetler.

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Tech Talk: Good Digital Parenting

CDT’s Tech Talk is a podcast where we dish on tech and Internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. In this episode we talk about good digital parenting and share insights on nonprofit fundraising.

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States Take Steps to Limit School Surveillance of Student Social Media Pages

It’s no secret that schools across the country regularly monitor students’ social media pages. In Florida and California, for example, school districts hire “social media listening” services to monitor students’ pages for threats of violence. Federal student privacy laws do not address social media surveillance, and few state laws prevent schools from accessing content students post on social media pages that are not private.

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Student Privacy Ought To Be Protected Comprehensively

Schools have largely embraced education applications, websites, and devices as means for improving classroom instruction and administration. However, there seems to be a trend in company policies and proposed laws toward drawing sharp, inflexible lines between products that are “for education” and those that are not. However, it’s clear that this line is often blurred. A number of existing student privacy bills arguably would not address these gray areas.

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