Survey: Americans Concerned About Use of Students' Personal Data

Common Sense Media has released the results of a national survey showing American adults are concerned about how students' personal data may be used to market to them, both at home and at school.

The telephone poll of 800 adults conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group for Common Sense Media from January 6-10 shows that:

  • 90% of adults are concerned about how non–educational interests are able to access and use students' personal information
  • There is strong support for the implementation of policies to protect students, including:
  • 28% of parents don't know anything about some schools’ use of web-based or online services to store students' data, including such details as age, weight, attendance and grades
  • Very few voters buy the argument that tighter regulations will stifle innovation, increase costs, or be overly burdensome. · 86% of Americans agree that protecting children’s safety and personal information should be priority number one, while only
  • 11% said regulations would be overly burdensome and stifle innovation.
  • Increasing transparency by requiring schools to notify parents before they share students' personal data with private companies - 91%
  • Tighter security standards to protect students' private information that is stored "in the cloud" - 89%
  • Restricting companies from using students' online habits and searches on school computers to target online advertisements to them - 74%
  • Restricting cloud services like Google from using students' email, online searches, and web history to build a profile of personal data and demographics over time. - 70%

On February 24, Common Sense Media will convene a national summit in DC featuring key stakeholders and policymakers, including the Secretary of Education, to outline practices that support connected classrooms that respect and safeguard student privacy.