Better PII Governance: Systemizing Trust

Better PII Governance: Systemizing Trust

Rob Abel, CEO of 1Edtech Consortium, has been leading the charge for better PII governance, providing ways for edtech vendors to demonstrate their commitment to and protocols for protecting PII to become a 1EdTech approved vendor. He joined our recent webinar to discuss the evolution of the data ecosystem in schools and what must be done to better protect PII. EdTech vendors participate in 1EdTech’s certification are shown as trusted vendors in GG4L’s Data Governance Console.

Using Standards to Create Better PII Governance

Abel explains, “The uptake of digital applications and platforms in education, especially in K-12, has led to a lot of complexity in the institutional, school district, or statewide ecosystem. We’re seeing a dramatic rise in the movement of data pertaining to students between applications. Some data is being collected by the applications themselves, but there is also a lot of data moving around because we have interoperability standards, such as OneRoster and LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) which have become quite popular. So it’s very, very important to understand how to use those standards correctly so that that data is protected.”

Data Is Lucrative Business

According to the General Accounting Office (GAO), as of 2020, more than 1.2 million students were impacted by cyberattacks in schools. Since then, K-12 schools have become the number one target for cyber criminals. New technologies, like AI, which cannot function without collecting data, all put schools and the PII they are charged with protecting, at risk. So data is not just useful for districts in their decision-making functions, but an attraction to bad actors who know how valuable that information can be on the dark web, for phishing, and for extracting ransoms, making better PII governance an imperative.

Systemizing Trust – How 1EdTech Creates Transparency

Abel explains:

We require a level of preparation and awareness in terms of the processes and the potential safeguards that are really difficult for even the best resourced school districts and suppliers to achieve. So, we have to work together to systemize trust. The one thing we have in education that’s really powerful is the ability to collaborate as colleagues and peers, especially when we have a mutual cause we’re collaborating around. What we’ve done is create something called trusted apps – a certification, which is really about transparency. It’s not a guarantee of anything, but these app providers come forward and indicate very clearly what is in their privacy policy and what is not. And, we have massive collaboration amongst the members that helps to utilize that information to make decisions about technology that makes their ecosystems more valuable, but less vulnerable. Some of that collaboration occurs in the standards themselves, making them more foolproof in terms of protecting student data.

GG4L’s PII Governance Console Brings Clarity

School Passport’s PII monitoring includes usage dashboards and reports that empower school leaders to take action with our platform’s data governance console. Our console categorizes and prioritizes the PII risks according to custom rules configured during the rollout of School Passport in your school district and makes it clear which vendors are 1EdTech approved. We offer a robust API framework for vendors to implement that allows vendors to create accounts for users, manage authentication and logins, create personalized experiences, communicate with users, and other more complex use cases like badging and credential reunification. We invite you to learn more.


Who Can You Trust to Handle Student Data?

Our recent webinar, “Who can you trust when it comes to handling student data?” digs deep into the conversation on data privacy and the industry challenges that have emerged, including how school districts can effectively provision learning apps accessing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and opportunities for districts and edtech vendors to collaborate on a unified approach toward data anonymization. If you’re concerned about data privacy and how student data is managed, view the webinar today.

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School Passport is a data exchange platform that exchanges any data with any EdTech product, eliminates the need to share student PII and is easy to implement for schools and vendors.


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