Data Protection and Compliance in the Ed-Tech Industry

Data Protection and Compliance in the Ed-Tech Industry

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Business, Technology, Published On
October 31, 2022

While the Ed Tech industry is taking over the educational system, there has been recent concern about data protection and privacy. It isn’t unusual for concerns like this to arise in a relatively new industry. However, despite these concerns, the Ed Tech industry is indeed in compliance with the data protection required by the law.

With the shift of the education system from the conventional way of learning to Ed Tech, these digital tools have been the primary target for intense cyber-attacks. And despite the strict data security guidelines of the Ed Tech industry, people might still fall victim to cyber assaults. In other to protect people from any mishaps while learning with any digital tool, the Ed Tech industry must protect its student’s data and promote privacy in the following ways: 

Data Protection and Compliance in the Ed-Tech Industry

 Ed-Tech Industry

  • Abide by the law

One of the ways the Ed Tech industry protects students’ data is by abiding by the law. Different laws guide how Ed Tech can offer its services to users. Depending on your region, there are different laws on how Ed Tech companies are to ensure students’ data are protected. In the US, two of the largest federal legislation that sees to it that students’ data privacy is not violated are the COPPA and FERPA.

The COPPA is legislation that protects children’s privacy, limiting what type of data companies can collect from children and use for marketing purposes. The FERPA, on the other hand, is more focused on protecting the family’s educational rights.

If you are to come down to the state level, there are laws and regulations Ed Tech is to abide by. These laws vary from state to state because every state can create security and privacy regulations and laws. A perfect example of an agency on the state level that sees students’ data privacy protection is the SOPIPA.

With the help of these agencies, Ed Tech companies must ensure data privacy restrictions. And ultimately, these agencies upholding data protection help ensure the Ed Tech industry creates a much better student privacy policy.

  • Provide transparency

Another area where the Ed Tech industry is ensuring that it protects students’ data is by providing transparency. These Ed Tech companies provide so much transparency that policies they know students will be most interested in are a highlight to take students’ attention. Nothing is more finesse than an establishment that is transparent—being transparent means not having any hidden policy or a policy open to multiple interpretations.

Being transparent helps the students know what their data is used for and allows them to opt in for it or opt out. This way, nothing is a shock to anyone as everybody knows what they are getting into. And transparency is not only offered to students; the school, educators, and parents are also offered the same level of transparency. This transparency, in the end, helps to create much better security measures and data privacy practices.

  • Encrypting data

To protect students’ data, Ed Tech companies encrypt every data collected. Some Ed Tech companies focus on data encryption during the transfer or transmission of data. At the same time, other Ed Tech companies focus on encryption of the data while storing it. In essence, if a leak of data hardly ever occurs, the data will not be useful to the perpetrators because of the encryption.

Hence, irrespective of the data level, it is protected, and cyber-attacks will not compromise the security of students. But despite the level of security Ed Tech companies offer students, they should not neglect that cyber-attacks are real and are even getting more sophisticated. Hence, students are required to be careful with the type of data they share with others.

Limit access to sensitive information

 Ed-Tech Industry

Also, another way Ed Tech companies can promote security and privacy is by limiting the people that have access to sensitive student data. The fewer people that have access, the less likely there will be a data breach. But when several people are accessing students’ data, someone on the inside might be careful or even get duped online, causing a breach in security.

Because of the risk of handling such sensitive information, many Ed Tech companies have strict protocols for handling students’ data. Also, they require that school districts actively participate in limiting the number of people with access to the students’ data and ensuring they are well-reviewed. Hence, the responsibility to protect sensitive information is not only in the hands of the Ed Tech company alone.

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