Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Privacy and HCS apps

After the post earlier tonight, I went back and looked at some of our privacy concerns and the way we use apps in Hoover. This site on the eli page will explain a lot of those details.

Why is my child’s Google Apps account her student ID number for Hoover City Schools? 
Hoover City Schools employs a “walled garden” approach to implement Google Apps for Education. Using student ID numbers as user IDs is consistent with existing privacy regulations. While Hoover City schools does use student ID numbers in different internal applications, the numbers are protected by a PIN (personal identification number) as in the case of lunch money or the students have no direct access to the system as in the case of the library system. When the school system's Technology Department reviewed Google Apps for Education, the issue of students being able to see the ID number of other students was found to be within acceptable security guidelines because Google Apps accounts are secured by a personal password. Teachers and staff members have been notified about acceptable and unacceptable uses of student ID numbers. 

What about Google Apps for Education privacy?
Hoover City Schools is responsible for protecting and safeguarding the confidentiality of student information. Hoover City Schools has contracted with Google to provide access to Google Apps for Education in a closed and secure environment for students and staff members. Google Apps is governed by a detailed privacy policy and security measures. Hoover City Schools has reviewed the privacy policy and security measures and believes they appropriately protect the privacy of users. Under the school system's terms of service agreement with Google, the company is obligated to comply with FERPA regulations. Additional information about Google Apps for Education security and privacy may be found at

What assurances has Google given Hoover City Schools that it will not collect data on my student?
Hoover City Schools has a signed agreement with Google based on the terms of this agreement: Please see Section 7. CCPS Google Apps for Education is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as FERPA, and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

Who has access to my child’s account?
The Google Apps agreement with Hoover City Schools contractually ensures that our students, faculty and staff members are the sole owners of their data. Google will only access content stored on Apps when a Hoover City Schools administrator grants Google explicit permission to do so. One example would be to investigate inappropriate use. 

Does my child retain copyright of his creations?
The same copyright rules apply to content in Google Apps for Education that apply to any other creation, provided the student is the sole owner. 

What protection will Hoover City Schools provide so that my child is not accessing inappropriate content on the web?
There are no advertisements used with Google Apps for Education. Google Apps for Education is an online collaboration tool that is accessed using a web browser and requires a login and password. Hoover City Schools also uses a CIPA-compliant web filter that blocks inappropriate categories. This filter is active on Chromebooks in school and  will be outside of school 2014-15 school year.

What information is "directory information"?
Hoover City Schools shares "directory information" with several vendors in the creation of accounts for our students. In concurance with FERPA,  Directory information means information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. “Directory information” includes items such :
State Number
Email Address
Grade School

Where is Hoover City School's Data Governance Policy?
Hoover City Schools shares it's Data Governance Policy in this location.

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