2017-07-06 – Australian Public School Information

Daily Archives: 2017-07-06

Student Data Privacy In Australia

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There is an article on SMH The privacy of our school students is up for grabs, this is actually a very interesting one and deserve more attention from us. I dabble in this field a little bit and understand there are almost limitless applications plus ways to use the data. This issue is not just limited to this, everything we use on a day to day base has this exact same issue, such as Facebook, Google and Apple just to mention a few, it is without a doubt they all collect a vast amount of data regarding us. Even if it is supposed to be anonymous, in reality when you have enough data it is straightforward to identify someone without too much issue.

There is unlimited potential with the data collected, collated and analysed from our students. However as have been amply identified previous, proper safeguard needs to be put in to ensure the data is used properly and only for the purpose described. One of the issues is that the decision makers in our society often are older which is the norm and have a lack of understanding of the potential benefits and pitfalls that new technologies will bring.

Technological advances have enabled large amounts of data to be gathered, collated and analysed from more sources more quickly. The National Schools Interoperability Program endorsed by state and education ministers, and developed under them, along with input from the ed-technology providers, seeks to ensure the standardisation of all software and data across all Australian schools and schooling systems.

Data systems require high levels of technical and statistical expertise. These functions appear to be outsourced to commercial entities and edu-businesses.

This matter needs to be at the forefront of policy debates in education. In our view, legislative protection is necessary. In Japan, for example, privacy legislation has been passed that ensures data can only be used for the explicit purposes for which it was collected. This prohibits the matching of multiple data sources to create algorithms to frame school systems, their policies and the practices of schools. There are also strict procedures for the wiping of data, when it is in the hands of edu-businesses. Such a legislative approach needs to be considered in Australia.

The authors of this article got it spot on, there needs to be legislative protection put into place for the safety and use of these data. It is just way too important not to take this approach.

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