First half term of the 2017-18 school year data report card

In the first half term of the 2017-18 school year there have been a number of policy announcements and pieces of legislation passed that affect children’s data privacy and education workforce data in England and Wales. We continue our work towards safe, fair, and transparent collection and use of national pupil data. What’s New? National Pupil Data: Moving pupil data towards safe, fair, and transparent use The Department for Education contract…

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Response to the Data Protection Bill debate and Green Paper on Online Strategy

Lord Jim Knight asked in debate in July about artificial intelligence and ethics, what plans the Government have to engage children in this discussion about their data. He picked this up again yesterday in the Second Reading of the Data Protection Bill (DP Bill)and again reminded the Government, they need to get their own house in order, before they can comply with the Bill. The launch of the government Online…

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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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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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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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