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Author: Charles R. Severance

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Discuss issues around learner data privacy in education and educational technology. Cover historical mistakes that have been made, current risks to student educational activity data and ways educational institutions can better protect student data going forward.
6 Episodes
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Surveillance #006

Surveillance #006

2020-11-0316:45

In this episode we look at how various surveillance technologies end up recording information about us.  We look at how we invite these technologies into our lives and the short and long term impacts of these technologies.  We look at how Ring doorbells do work and how they should (but never will) work.   We talk about cloud services we can and cannot trust.  We look at how different forms of Covid surveillance work and which ones are well or poorly engineered.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/learnerprivacy)
In this fictional campfire story, we take a look at a community college English teacher and their students and how they get caught up in events happening in society.  They end up being investigated by law enforcement out of an abundance of caution because their cell phone serial numbers were recorded by a Stingray device in a van parked near a protest march.  The Law enforcement gets a subpoena to look at some of the students learning activity data out of an abundance of caution.  Spoiler alert: nothing really bad happens to anyone in the story unless you have a principled concern regarding the loss of control / ownership of private student activity to third parties.  Music: Strange Things at Night by Sir CubworthSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/learnerprivacy)
In this episode, we look at the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).   Europe has a long history of thinking more deeply and formally about privacy than the US.  We start by looking at the 1995 Data Protection Directive - which laid down a great set of principles long before the widespread use of the Internet or Cloud.   Then in 2000 as a reaction to US world-scale applications like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the EU developed the Safe Harbor principles, which US companies fought and eventually overturned in 2015.  From the ashes of Safe Harbor, the Privacy Shield agreement emerged in 2016.   The GDPR went into effect in 2018 with the intention of "getting it right".   It turns out that unless a University wants to use GDPR to define a relationship with their educational technology vendors, it is pretty much ignored.  Some cultures and some schools make good use of GDPR and others simply ignore it. This podcast is more about the Foibles and Flaws of GDPR.  In an upcoming podcast we will flip and look at the regulation and where is is used and applied well.  Music: Peacefully by E'S Jammy JamsSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/learnerprivacy)
In this episode, we look at why higher education moved from self-hosted learning systems to completely outsourced systems between 2010 and 2020.   We look at some of the problems of self-hosted LMS systems and how higher education IT was not ready to move into the cloud and maintain "ownership" of their LMS infrastructure.  Choosing a 100% out-sourced could LMS turns out to be an excellent temporary move that has allowed IT departments to build expertise on cloud services like Amazon.  But it is time to re-look at how we provision and provide LMS services in higher education.  In the past few years it has become increasingly simple to deploy, monitor, and maintain scalable production infrastructures on Amazon.  It might be a good time to take another look at just how much of the campus learning system should be fully outsourced.  Music: Peacefully by E'S Jammy JamsSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/learnerprivacy)
In this episode we look at FERPA in the context of other privacy frameworks and laws like FOIA, HIPAA, and HITech.   We compare FERPA to medical privacy records and look at how campuses need to move beyond FERPA to examine the real issues of learner privacy.  Music: Peacefully by E'S Jammy JamsSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/learnerprivacy)
I look at the last 20 years of progress in educational technology and while have made great strides in improving interoperability, we have moved from having each campus 100% maintaining possession their learner's private data to the point where the there is no learner private data under the direct control of many universities.  Private student data is often spread across 15 or more vendor systems.  It is time to understand and explore the trade off of  outsourcing student identity and private learning data to third party vendors.  This is a problem that is 20 years in the making - it will take some time to get to a better place in the educational technology marketplace with respect to protecting learner privacy data. Music: Peacefully by E'S Jammy JamsSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/learnerprivacy)
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