Protecting Data in Education
The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data claims the Economist. Is teacher and student data at risk? Who profits? How can our data be protected? These are just some of the questions I’ve considered this week.
This is a big topic and one I didn’t have much background knowledge of. But this paragraph from the Educator Toolkit for Teacher and Student Privacy helped give me some context.
“So what is privacy and why does it matter? Privacy refers to the ability to protect one’s own personal information and control with whom and how the information is shared. It matters because even if you’re not doing anything illegal or feel you have nothing to hide, the standards and norms by which judgments are made about behavior that’s “right” versus “wrong” today could easily change tomorrow. Moreover, the freedoms of expression, association, and assembly — all of which are necessary for a free and functioning democratic society — are underpinned by the
right to privacy.”
The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) was established by the U.S. Department of Education as a one-stop-shop for education stakeholders on all things data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices for student data. Even though I work at a WASC accredited American-style school, it’s located outside of America. This week’s materials led me to search for the Laws of Mongolia on Education.
Truth is, I’ve experienced some cringe-worthy moments as an educator in Mongolia: ranking students by exam scores, public grade comparisons, and shaming, grade changing, unashamedly preferential treatment for high scoring students, etc. All of which, violated student data privacy. I have seen a shift in recent years; progress in Asia is well underway.
According to this blog post, Mongolia doesn’t have legislation to criminalize violations of privacy breaches. Only in 2011, Mongolian Data protection Law (adopting a Law on Personal Secrecy 1995 and a Law on Personal Secrecy/ Privacy Law) was first approved. The author, Badamsuren Batchuluun, Mongolia, mentions more training should be conducted to inform the public and government about data protection law.
More needs to be done. I see a huge gap in protecting student data and confidentiality in Mongolia and I hope the final project for this course can help me discover ways to close it.
Making Sense of Data for teachers and Google for Education Trainers
The Privacy Project by The New York Times
How can I advocate for legislation in Mongolia to protect student data and privacy?