Rampant Sharing of Student PII is a Risk to Schools and EdTech Vendors

Rampant Sharing of Student PII is a Risk to Schools and EdTech Vendors

San Diego, CA – April 17, 2023 – Today Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) announced, at the ASU+GSV Summit, its next generation of school data exchange designed to stop the spread of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) across the education ecosystem of vendors. The School Passport data exchange allows information to be shared by schools with their EdTech vendors, but can now seamlessly anonymize PII to address a major privacy vulnerability for the industry.

The habit of sharing school PII across EdTech vendors has become commonplace, allowing for increased data breaches, ransomware attacks and lawsuits for schools. School Passport is breaking this habit by minimizing the need to share school PII across EdTech vendors.

The newly released version of School Passport leverages GG4L’s patents and innovative token-based services to solve the problem that traditional rostering approaches have created, including the reliance on legal compliance as the sole approach to protect schools. This proved to be difficult to implement, particularly at scale. School Passport is a data exchange platform that provides data for EdTech applications, but eliminates the need to share PII via anonymization, while providing easy to use services to simplify vendor adoption.

“School Passport builds on our recent experience with PII Shield, API-based communications, and school-centric data governance,” said Robert Iskander, GG4L Founder & CEO. “School Passport is the first Zero-Trust based, anonymized and tokenized, data exchange and governance infrastructure for schools.”

School Passport provides districts with monitoring tools to track where and how data is shared and data governance tools to restrict sharing or anonymize data. The platform provides a PII vault that allows districts to maintain encryption of data within district control. School Passport provides a robust open standards based API framework of anonymized services which makes it easy for vendors to adopt. 

School districts can significantly reduce the amount of student PII that is shared with external entities. As such, schools see an improved teaching and learning environment, as IT compliance no longer delays trials and deployments of new tools for students. This innovative approach to  anonymously roster students into a third-party application has been tested by districts like LAUSD to provision high-school students into Coursera. “GG4L made it easier to connect our students to Coursera’s Career Academy, and teachers are now able to assign it to students though our Schoology LMS,” commented Celine Calanoc, CTE/Linked Learning Office at LAUSD.

Education technology vendors also benefit from School Passport in many ways.  By eliminating the need to consume student PII, vendors reduce their risk of operation, lower their costs, and can continue to deliver a quality end-user experience. 

 “Since we switched to School Passport, we can affordably solve and scale nearly any data integration challenge. We have accelerated our ROI by simplifying onboarding for our customers.” said Andy Shaw, Canva for Education Technical and Operations Lead. 

 Shifting the industry to an anonymized model for student data sharing requires collaboration across the ecosystem. As a Contributing Member of 1EdTech, GG4L has been proactively participating in 1EdTech’s Identity Task Force and has volunteered to contribute to upcoming work on the 1EdTech OneRoster® standard. This will lead to certification showing that edtech suppliers can meet the requirements for supporting anonymized identity.

“The 1EdTech community of school districts, universities, states and suppliers is providing leadership on student data privacy through our TrustEd Apps program,” commented Dr. Rob Abel, CEO of 1EdTech. “The community greatly appreciates GG4L’s contributions, and we will expedite the benefits of this work via extensions to the widely adopted OneRoster standard.”

The broad adoption of anonymized student data across education will reduce risks for schools and vendors alike.  To learn more about stopping the spread of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) across the education ecosystem of vendors, reach out to info@gg4l.com today.


About Global Grid for Learning (GG4L), a Public Benefit Corporation

Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) was founded in 2018 as a Public Benefit Corporation. GG4L’s product, School Passport, is a data exchange platform that exchanges any data with any EdTech product, eliminates the need to share student PII with every vendor, and is easy to implement. School Passport serves over 30,000 schools, 15 million students, and hundreds of EdTech vendors. GG4L advocates for open standards-based data integrations, governed data exchange, and strict data privacy compliance. For more information, visit gg4l.com. GG4L has been selected to The Elite 200, the distinguished list of semifinalists recognized in the 2023 GSV Cup.


About 1EdTech: 

1EdTech is a member-based non-profit community partnership of leading educational providers at all levels, government organizations, and edtech suppliers working together to enable better digital teaching and learning. Together, we power learner potential by accelerating an open, trusted, and innovative education ecosystem in which products work together to enable better learning. 1EdTech hosts the annual Learning Impact conference in June and other engagement opportunities to advance the leadership and ideas that shape the future of learning. 1EdTech is supported by an affiliated public charity, the 1EdTech Foundation, that puts philanthropic funds to work for our cause. Visit our website at 1edtech.org.  OneRoster is a registered trademark of the 1EdTech consortium. 


About Canva for Education: 

Canva for Education makes it easy to create, collaborate, and communicate visually in the classroom and beyond. It’s 100% free for K-12 districts, schools, teachers, and their students. Bring your ideas to life with thousands of ready-to-use educational templates from presentations, posters, comic strips, book reports, infographics, newsletters, and more.


GG4L - The Global Grid 4 Learning

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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