Data collection has changed the way schools used to conduct their business. While computers and networks contribute to the efficiency of educational record-keeping, data access, and use, they have not changed the reasons schools need to maintain, share, and use student and staff information. The education community has always required these types of information to carry out its mission to instruct students. But the challenge is that with the flip of a switch, information can be damaged irreparably.
With the careless turn of your head, a pocket-sized disk containing thousands of records can disappear. And with the connection of a single wire, sensitive material can be shared with millions of users.
In Sep 2015, B.C. Government issued a warning that a data breach could affect more than three million people when an unencrypted hard drive containing names, addresses, birth dates, grades and other education-related information for 3.4 million people who attended school in B.C. and Yukon between 1986 and 2009 got misplaced.
While these scenarios may seem foreboding and even scary, they are only part of the story – and, in fact, a small part – because the information stored in networks is far more secure than any paper file in any administrator’s office filing cabinet. But, the set of preventive, detective and corrective controls should be implemented to ensure the security of the smart metering system, which includes end devices, management and monitoring systems, network infrastructure and payment environments.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is committed to helping to improve digital literacy, particularly among vulnerable populations, such as young people. Some of the most common privacy breaches happen when personal information is stolen, lost or mistakenly shared. A privacy breach may also be a consequence of faulty business procedures or operational breakdowns.
To learn more about the topic, Register Now for IoT, Big Data Education Summit to listen to Abubakar Khan, Director of the Toronto Regional Operations, at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC), who oversees the regional outreach activities and investigations conducted pursuant to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
Feature image source: Financial Times