Google and more join pledge to protect student data

Both Khan Academy and Google, as well as thirteen others, have joined the growing list of companies pledging to protect students' privacy. President Obama spoke about the pledge last week, and before doing so several companies including Apple and Microsoft had signed. A total of 75 companies had signed last week, and Google and Amazon were both criticized for not doing so. On Monday, 15 new companies — including Khan Academy and Google — jumped aboard. This follows the administration's increased push for data security.

By signing the pledge, the companies are agreeing to avoid certain actions including behavior-based ad targeting on their educational products and the selling of student data. Furthermore, whatever data collected will be done so in a transparent manner, both in terms of how it was collected and how it was used.

Parents will also be given access to students' data under the pledge, and as Obama recently stated, they would be informed about what companies failed to sign the pledge. If all goes as planned, legislation will also come about that limits data collected in classrooms to educational uses only.

That's not necessarily to say that these companies weren't protecting student info before signing the pledge; some, including Google, already had policies in place that limited student data usage and the kind advertisement being utilized, for example.

SOURCE: The Washington Post