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News Brief

Monday, March 02, 2015

PTAC Releases Model Terms of Service and a ‘Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services’ Video

The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), working with the Department of Education's Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO), has developed a new guidance document that provides a framework for evaluating 'terms of service' agreements.  The document is intended to assist educators, schools, and districts in understanding how a given online service or app may collect, use, and/or transmit user information, so that they can then decide whether or not to sign up.   The document is available here: http://ptac.ed.gov/document/protecting-student-privacy-while-using-online-educational-services-model-terms-service and includes:  

  • A framework for evaluating Terms of Service Agreements to ensure that the app or service will handle data in a safe and secure manner.
  • Warning signs and potential illegal practices to look out for when using these applications.
  • Recommendations and best practices for what you or your organization can do to better protect student privacy.

PTAC also released the video version of the Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services document. The video is a brief introduction to the privacy implications of these new classroom offerings. The video is available via YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deo2F19DK_o. Other resources are available at http://ptac.ed.gov or you can contact PTAC with questions via email at: PrivacyTA@ed.gov.