Student Data for Sale? Why the Student Privacy Pledge Matters

on September 22, 2016 in Insider

As important as it is for us to ensure students’ physical well-being while they are under our watch in the classroom, it is equally as important that we protect their information from misuse, and cyber threats. Schools collect and manage tons of student data; from class schedules and transcripts, to even the most delicate pieces of personally identifiable information. Without deliberate policies in place, it becomes challenging for schools to differentiate between companies who do not guarantee safeguarding of information, from the security superheroes of the world.

One effective way to discern your vendor’s intentions is to measure them against the recommendations highlighted in the Student Privacy Pledge (SPP).


Why is the Student Privacy Pledge important?

As explained in the pledge itself, “School service providers take responsibility to both support the effective use of student information and safeguard student privacy and information security.” The pledge offers schools a way to quickly identify companies that are regarded as having high standards for handling the information of students.

Participating in this initiative is a way for companies to publicly commit to:

  • Not selling personally identifiable information
  • Collecting and maintaining data exclusively for pre-authorized purposes
  • Supporting access to and correction of information
  • And so much more!

What does it mean to sign the pledge?

It is important to note that not all companies that are interested in signing the pledge make the cut to be featured on the signatories’ page. Once a company engages with the SPP, they are assigned a representative who is in charge of assessing the policies, and terms of use for each edtech provider. There is a significant amount of correspondence, and fact finding that must occur in order to provide the SPP representative with enough information to make a determination on whether or not the company meets the guidelines recommended by the pledge.

It is because of our unyielding dedication to supporting schools, and communities with integrity, and respect that we took it upon ourselves to sign the Student Privacy Pledge.

How can I find out if my technology provider has signed the SPP?

It is easy to find out if the edtech companies that your school is currently (or considering) working with have signed the pledge. Simply visit the signatories page at and you will be able to review a list of over 300 other companies that also fulfill the requirements of the Student Privacy Pledge with OnCourse Systems for Education!