Student Attendance Management System – Do These Technologies Pose A Threat To An Individuals Privacy
Personnel information regarding your child held on the school database, continues to be a sensitive issue that causes a lot of parents anxiety and hand wringing, worried that the sharing of data collected by such technologies as a student attendance management system, are an infringement of a students privacy, especially if the informaton is collected using biometric readers. Other school management systems can hold more sensitive personal information, and the sharing of this data with outside agencies is declared irresponsible by many outspoken critics.
BY WILL SENTELL
Capitol news bureau
July 10, 2013
“The data may not be correct; that is one problem,” France said.
“What happens if your kids’ information is incorrect and it is negative?” he added. “You would never be able to fix it. That is one of the unintended consequences.”
The data sharing was touted by state Superintendent of Education John White and others as a way to aid teachers.
But concerns by France and other parents have already helped spark the cancellation of the state’s contract with a group called inBloom, which is supported in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Now the state is launching a task force to try to find ways to balance school needs with rising concerns about privacy, especially amid concerns that students could be traumatized, or worse, if delicate information falls into the wrong hands.
Schools and school districts have long collected information about students, including Social Security numbers, ethnicity, date of birth, family income indicators, medical issues, attendance and other information.
The dispute is whether the benefits of the data sharing are outweighed by the risks that the data will fall into the hands of employers, for-profit firms and even hackers.
“This is totally irresponsible,” said Deborah Sachs, who lives in Mandeville.
The Sachs family has asked the state and St. Tammany Parish school system officials not to share information about their daughter Rachael Sachs, a 16-year-old student at Mandeville High School. That includes name, date of birth, Social Security number, pictures and health information.
Rachael Sachs made an appeal to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education last month. “I want you to understand that what may seem inconsequential to adults could be devastating to teenagers,” she said.
White, while backing the task force, generally has downplayed worries by France and others, including charges that he has failed to take the steps needed to cancel the state’s agreement with inBloom.
He told BESE that the state takes elaborate steps to keep the student data private, including digital firewalls, private “tunnels” between the state and local school districts when information is shared, and encryption methods to prevent data from being intercepted.
InBloom officials say it brings together data, content and tools educators need for personalized learning, and does so with an emphasis on the security of the data.
White said the dispute arose because, if the state is compiling information about students, should it be available to help teachers?
Jim Garvey, vice president of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, represents St. Tammany Parish and other areas where parents are voicing concerns.
Originally from : http://theadvocate.com/home/6459875-125/student-data-sparks-controversy.
Summary: Our student attendance management system does not hold sensitive personal information, and even if we collect the biometric data of a student, we cannot reproduce a fingerprint likeness of any individual, as the information is encrypted and only a small amount of the original scan is retained as an algorithm composed of computer code, not an image.