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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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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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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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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Ten steps for parents and schools: how and why to retract nationality data

There is less than one month 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. For background detail follow the links in red. Schools are legally responsible for fair processing – telling pupils, parents, staff and school governors what is done with any personal…

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New review of school census data releases from the National Pupil Database

Here is our review of the latest releases of pupil data disclosed from the National Pupil Database (NPD) as stated in the Third Party Register. Of the 887 requests and releases of identifiable data that have been through the DfE request process in March 2012 – December 2016, only 29 have been for aggregated data. 334 Tier 1: individual level, identifiable and highly sensitive 368 Tier 2: individual level, identifiable…

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Quarterly round up: children’s pupil data privacy in England Q1 2017

In the first quarter of 2017 there have been a number of policy announcements and pieces of legislation passed that affect children’s data privacy in England. We have continued our work towards safe, fair, and transparent collection and use of national pupil data. School census: Moving pupil data towards safe, fair, and transparent use The UK Digital Strategy announced a committment to changes in National Pupil Data management. That will…

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Growing up with the Internet report: privacy and other child rights

We warmly welcome the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications report published on March 21, 2017, Growing up with the Internet, the 2nd Report of Session 2016–17. In particular we support the main findings in areas of data privacy and child rights and a key conclusion that, “The minimum standards should require that the strictest privacy settings should be ‘on’ by default, geolocation should be switched off until activated,…

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Five questions for schools before your school census 2017 submission

Schools may be at risk of legal challenge after the national school census 2016-17 collection of nationality data. To check if yours could be, start by asking the following questions. Has your school collected children’s country of birth, nationality, or first language data and not given parents, guardians and pupils an informed right to refuse? Did your school collect children’s country of birth or nationality data and say it was…

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