Magazine article Information Management

Study: No Expectation of Privacy in Massachusetts Schools

Magazine article Information Management

Study: No Expectation of Privacy in Massachusetts Schools

Article excerpt

A recent study conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts found that most school districts in the state give students "no expectation of privacy" online or on their devices.

The ACLU study of 35 Massachusetts K-12 school districts, "Back to the Drawing Board," reveals that many schools in the state use technology to monitor students, as well as to collect and share their data. Ten districts said they have the right to inspect devices without notice or consent, eight districts said students have "no expectation of privacy," and two reserve the right to periodic searches.

The report also shows that students' personal data is often shared with third parties. Eight districts reported using third-party applications that gather personal data to be shared with corporations or law enforcement agencies without consent. Only one district said it does not share data with third parties.

In response, the Massachusetts department of secondary and elementary education said, "We agree that student privacy is important, and we also know that schools want to ensure students are using technology appropriately. Most of the policies related to student use of technology are made at the school or district level. …

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