NEWS & TRENDS: FBI Warns Educators and Parents about Edtech’s Cybersecurity Risks

This month the FBI released a public service announcement warning educators and parents about the cybersecurity risks for students, according to EdSurge. Specifically, the FBI notes the widespread collection of sensitive information by edtech vendors. The memo also notes two 2017 cybersecurity threats when one company “exposed internal data by storing it on a public-facing server … The other company suffered a breach and student data was posted for sale on the Dark Web.” Amelia Vance, the director of the Education Privacy Project at the Future of Privacy Forum, wrote in an email to EdSurge that while reminding the public of security threats was helpful, the reality is that “Schools across the country lack funding to provide and maintain adequate security.” She writes, “Now that the FBI has focused attention on these concerns, policymakers must step up and fund impactful security programs.” Vance does not believe that the FBI’s suggestion for parents to research privacy laws is helpful. “Parents don’t need to become experts on these topics to meaningfully engage with their schools about how their child’s data is being used.”