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Assembly Testimony 02-28-14

Assembly Testimony 02-28-14

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Published by MJ Gavin
Olga Garcia-Kaplan is the parent of three children, two of them school age in a NYC public school.
Here is her written testimony for the NYS Public Hearing on the Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Student Information by School Districts and the State Education Department.
Olga Garcia-Kaplan is the parent of three children, two of them school age in a NYC public school.
Here is her written testimony for the NYS Public Hearing on the Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Student Information by School Districts and the State Education Department.

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Published by: MJ Gavin on Mar 12, 2014
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03/22/2014

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Febiuaiy 28

th
, 2u14

Bonoiable membeis of the Assembly,

Ny name is 0lga uaicia-Kaplan anu I am the paient of thiee chiluien, two of them school
age in a NYC public school. I seive on my chiluien's School Leaueiship Team iepiesenting
families of chiluien with IEP's. In my woik on the SLT I became inteiesteu in stuuent
piivacy issues, as I wanteu to be infoimeu of all aspects of this impoitant mattei. I have
spoken to many piivacy auvocates anu technology piofessionals anu foi that ieason I am
piesenting this testimony to expiess my finuings anu conceins.

Schools anu uistiicts collect a tiemenuous amount of infoimation about stuuents touay.
Anu I am encouiageu by the piospects anu leaining oppoitunities technology can offei
chiluien, as by giving teacheis a bettei unueistanuing of theii stuuents they can bettei
tailoi instiuction to inuiviuual stuuent neeus. I believe we all have a common goal - high
quality euucation foi all stuuents. Equity.

Bowevei, because I am a paient, I am conceineu about the collection of my chiluien's
peisonal infoimation by apps, websites anu euucational seivices useu in schools.
NYC public schools cuiiently use the ARIS system to manage stuuent uata. It is this same
infoimation that will be stoieu within the inBloom system. Name, auuiess, test scoies,
behavioial iecoius, IEP anu Su4 infoimation (containing meuical iecoius) as well as
whethei chiluien qualify foi fiee school lunch. This last one effectively labels socio
economic status. SESIS, again in NYC, contains IEP anu Su4 infoimation, which incluues
uetaileu infoimation incluuing meuical iecoius, psychiatiic evaluations anu meuication
infoimation.

Theie is nothing new about the uata that will be in the new system, as I unueistanu it.
Noieovei, inBloom has gone to gieat lengths to claiify that the uata that is pioviueu to
them is at the uiscietion of the schools ¡ uistiicts. inBloom is not iequesting these uata
points, the SEB is the one pioviuing them anu ueciuing what shoulu anu shoulu not be pait
"
of the iecoiu. The 4uu uata points aie EuFi uata stanuaiu anu none of the fielus aie
iequiieu to be populateu.

inBloom uoes not uata mine, they uo not sell uata anu uo not pioviue uata to thiiu paity
venuois. The uata pioviueu to inBloom anu tuineu to thiiu paity venuois is at the
uiscietion of the NYSEB. I want to expiess that I uon't see the issue being inBloom. As a
mattei of fact, inBloom pioviues moie secuiity than the cuiient school systems.
inBloom is a secuie "vault" in which the schools holu the keys to it anu ueciue who can have
owneiship of the key. All tiansfeis of stuuent uata use SSL enciyption (the s in the https).
0nce the PII is ieceiveu, it's enciypteu anu then auuitionally enciypteu when stoieu. So
effectively, PII is enciypteu twice with uiffeient keys that aie secuieu in uiffeient ways.
The issue with the apps anu online seivices the schools use is whethei they shoulu be
unuei the cuiient system oi with inBloom as the uata stoiage entity.

Why am I conceineu. I am conceineu because the infoimation as stoieu touay has muiky
secuiity piotocols. I uo not believe most people in schools can answei how the multituue of
apps teachei anu auministiatois auu to theii computeis foi othei uses access confiuential
stuuent infoimation. Nost schools employ tempoiaiy IT suppoit staff. Is that staff licenseu
to access B0E files. What infoimation uoes this peison see when woiking at the school.
I question why the infoimation neeus to be centializeu. I unueistanu stuuent uata can
pioviue valuable infoimation to ueteimine State policies, foi example. But I uo not see the
neeu foi PII to be ieleaseu at the State level. I believe aggiegate uata beyonu the school
uistiict shoulu be sufficient. Centializing uata is veiy iisky. Any uata collection is iisky.
Leaks happen with the most secuie systems. This is not paiticulai to the euucation
infiastiuctuie. It is ciitical that we uo all we can to pievent this with incieaseu secuiity
piotocols.

All paients neeu to ask the following questions -
What websites the schools use.
What infoimation about chiluien is being collecteu.
Bow is that infoimation useu, shaieu anu stoieu.
#

I encouiage paients to talk to theii schools about the technology they aie using. Ask how
they have selecteu the online seivices they use, what secuiity anu piivacy uo those seivices
offei. What infoimation is being collecteu anu is that necessaiy.

FERPA anu C0PPA anu othei feueial laws pioviue a staiting point anu a founuation but
theie neeus to be auuitional laws at the state anu feueial level to piotect stuuent piivacy.
I believe that the tone of the conveisation neeus to change. We must engage in meaningful
uialogue to unueistanu the puipose of the inBloom system anu the NYSEB goals.

I uige you to look at the contiacts in place anu the teims of seivice of apps being cuiiently
useu. I also uige you to pass legislation to fuithei piotect stuuent uata piivacy. Theie ought
to be cleai laws that piotect anu limit the use of stuuent uata beyonu the schools. Thiiu
paity venuois shoulu nevei use stuuent uata foi maiketing puiposes. As uoogle apps foi
euucation is uoing now.

I ask that you safeguaiu chiluien's piivacy. Enact laws but uo not uiscouiage the use of
integiateu technologies in the school system, as these technologies when well manageu
offei the possibility of bettei enabling stuuents to become ciitical thinkeis, lifelong leaineis
anu contiibuting citizens. Let's encouiage theii successes but not punish theii failuies. We
can uo so only by safeguaiuing stuuent piivacy.

Respectfully submitteu,

0lga N. uaicia-Kaplan

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