Students: As you get ready to go back to school, add "review your student privacy rights" to your back-to-school to-do list, right next to ordering books and buying supplies. Exciting new technology in the classroom can also mean privacy violations, including the chance that your personal devices and online accounts may be demanded for searches by school personnel.

Our student privacy report offers recommendations for several stakeholder groups. In this post, we'll focus specifically on students. Given that the integration of technology in education affects their data personally, it’s vital that students are especially attentive to what’s being integrated into their curriculum. Below, we provide a few recommendations for students to act to preserve their personal data privacy:

  • Determine if there are privacy settings you can control directly in the device or application.
  • Try to ascertain the privacy practices of the ed tech providers your school uses.
  • Avoid sharing sensitive personal information (which could include, for example, search terms and browser history) if it will be transmitted back to the provider.
  • If you’re concerned by the usage of a certain service and find it intrusive, talk to your parents and explain why you find it concerning.
  • Ask to opt out or use an alternative technology when you do not feel comfortable with the policies of certain vendors.
  • Share your privacy concerns with school administrators. It may work best to gather a few like-minded students and have a joint meeting where everyone shares their concerns and asks the school administrator(s) for further guidance.

Want to learn more? Read our report Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy for more recommendations, analysis of student privacy law, and case studies from across the country.

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