Google, Khan Academy Join 75 Other Companies In Student Data Privacy Pledge
Google and Khan Academy are among the latest fifteen companies to join in the pledge regarding student data privacy. US President Barack Obama introduced several plans to protect consumer data collected by the companies — one of which is about protecting students data collected in classrooms.
The plans were unveiled by Obama in response to cyber attack on US military accounts. As a result of this cyber attack, Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. Military’s Central Command were apparently hacked. Obama introduced several plans to streamline state laws regarding data breaches into one clear federal standard.
“We pioneered the Internet, but we also pioneered the Bill of Rights, and a sense that each of us as individuals have a sphere of privacy around us that should not be breached, whether by our government, but also by commercial interests,” said Obama.
One of those plans was to make it a requirement for the companies to inform customers within 30 days after the data breach affecting customer personal information. Another plan was Student Digital Privacy Act, which would ensure that data provided by students to the educational institutions would not be sold to third-parties for marketing or any purposes other than educational ones.
Seventy five companies have signed this pledge stating that they would not use student data collected online for any other purposes. The addition of Google and YouTube-based educational organization Khan Academy is welcoming for US government as these two online portals are largely used by students. It also means that students won’t be seeing targeted advertisements on educational products.
Apple, Microsoft and textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt were among first few companies that signed this pledge. Privacy advocates hailed this move but many criticized the absence of Google and Amazon from the list.
Obama encouraged all companies to join the pledge and said that he would make sure that parents get to know which companies had not signed.
Google already had a policy in place about this issue. The company faced criticism last year for providing advertisements on its “Apps for Education” products. Google mentioned in a blog post that it would remove the option of enabling ads on those services. Furthermore, the search giant ensured that it would no longer be able to collect student data and use it for advertisement purposes.
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