What will GDPR Privacy by Default and Design mean for national pupil data?

When parents give their children’s information to school, do they expect it could be passed on to commercial companies? Or to journalists? Or charities? Or used against them by UK immigration and visas or Border Force Casework Removals? No. The truth about all these uses of our children’s personal data by third parties, is that each is an invasion of privacy. The commercial uses began after the law was changed…

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School census changes one year on – when will children be told?

One year ago, on September 1, 2016 a new law came into force, before any possible parliamentary or public scrutiny, that had snuck through in the six-week school summer holidays. The British government then began to collect the nationality data of every school child in England in the school census. What no one was told at that time, was that there was already a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place…

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Comment on Data Protection Bill DCMS Statement of Intent

Parliament may be in six weeks of summer recess, but the DCMS launched a statement of intent today for the Data Protection Bill expected in September. What will it mean for children’s data privacy and data protection? Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital said: “Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who…

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The making of a very bad law: school census nationality data one year on

One year ago on July 27, 2016, the law was laid, that snuck through in the six-week school summer holidays. It took effect on September 1, 2016  before any possible parliamentary or public scrutiny. The British government then began to collect the nationality data of every school child in England. What followed, was a struggle to find out the truth behind what the public and teachers were told, and turned out…

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Department for Education works on privacy API for National Pupil Database

UK Authority reported today, based on a procurement notice, that The Department for Education (DfE) is aiming to develop a privacy controlling API for access to its National Pupil Database (NPD) in England. It says that the project is, “an early step in a broader programme to maximise the benefits of its data by providing fast and secure access to users who can create value,” and that its, “potential benefit…

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Queen’s speech: safeguarding children, data, and digital rights

The Queen’s Speech promises new laws to ensure that, “the United Kingdom retains its world-class regime protecting personal data”. And a new digital charter to make the UK the safest place to be online for children. The briefing background suggests the government intends to tackle new challenges and threats – ‘to our security, privacy, emotional wellbeing, mental health and the safety of our children’. They commit to  ‘respond to these…

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What’s Next? Under 364 days to fix pupil data privacy.

After the General Election on June 8th, and machinery of government changes, we look forward to continuing work-in-progress with the Department for Education and government regards children and young people’s data privacy and digital rights. We have been given commitments that: “the Department is currently reviewing data access processes across the entire Department and the transparency of these. “the aim is to be transparent about all requests not just the…

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Letter to schools: Take action today on School Census nationality data

Dear Head, Dear School Census Administrator, May 18th, is the summer school census on-roll day. We hope that you will take action to safeguard your children from the unknown uses of the new data collected this year 2016/17: nationality country of birth These data are optional and are NOT used for funding. You have a legal duty to inform parents and pupils what their personal data may be used for,…

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Ten steps for schools why and how to refuse nationality in school census

There is less than one week left for parents and schools to retract pupils’ nationality and country of birth data before the national summer school census on May 18, as offered in the latest Department for Education census guidance. Act now to retract nationality data already submitted to DfE. It is optional and not required. Parents can retract data already submitted. Lord Nash, November 24, 2016: “If parents have previously…

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Children’s voice won’t be heard in DCMS consultation on data privacy

Children under 16 in the UK will lose the right to use children’s websites (other than those offering ‘counselling services’) without showing evidence of parental approval from May next year. That is, unless the government acts to lower the age requirement for some, to between 16 and a lower threshold of as young as thirteen. This is just one of the areas on which the government must make a decision…

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