It is essential that children learn about data privacy and security. Their lives will be fully enveloped by technologies that involve data. But far too little about these topics is currently taught in most schools.
Fortunately, there is a solution, one that I’m proud to have been involved in creating. The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), a nonprofit group of policy leaders, educators, and various experts, has released the Privacy K-12 Curriculum Matrix.
The Privacy K-12 Curriculum Matrix is free. It can be used by any school, educator, or parent. It contains an overview of the privacy issues that should be taught, including which details about each issue should be covered in various grade levels. It includes suggestions for appropriate learning activities for each grade level.
After Apple announced that it wouldn’t provide law enforcement with an easy back door to access data on people’s devices, we heard loud whining coming from the FBI and various security proponents that this would be bad for security.
Last week, the White House released its report, Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values. My reaction to it is mixed. The report mentions some concerns about privacy with Big Data and suggests some reforms, but everything is stated so mildly, in a way designed to please everyone. The report is painted in pastels; it finesses the hard issues and leaves specifics for another day. So it is a step forward, which is good, but it is a very small step, like a child on a beach reluctantly dipping a toe into ocean.
For any organization who doesn’t take privacy seriously, the demise of inBoom should be a loud wake up call. Funded by $100 million from the Gates Foundation, inBloom was a non-profit organization aiming to store student data so that school officials and teachers could use it to learn about their students and how to more effectively teach them and improve their performance in school. Who would have thought that a project with so much funding and promise would be shutting down just a few years after its creation? What went wrong?
I have produced a new short video for the newly-launched education privacy website of SafeGov. The site is called edu.SafeGov.org, and it contains a wonderful array of resources for parents, school officials, and policymakers regarding education privacy issues.