CNPD warns that distance learning poses privacy risks for students and teachers

CNPD warns that distance learning poses privacy risks for students and teachers

The exceptional measures for schools were communicated by the Government on Thursday, the 9th, and on the same day CNPD published a document with guidelines for the different stakeholders in the processing of personal data carried out in the use of technologies to support distance education, which has dated April 8, 2020.

The body that has control of and control the processing of

personal data recognizes that in this context schools had to opt for these technological resources, but affirms that "in the context of which the necessity or convenience of generalizing the use of these technologies is revealed, it is important, in parallel to perceive the advantages of resulting, also to alert to the risks associated with its use ".

The risks of video surveillance, violating the privacy of students and teachers and the collection of sensitive data are aligned in the document that was published by CNPD and which lists eight risks, making 12 recommendations to schools and the Ministry of Education.

CNPD recalls that many platforms collect data such as images of users and the environment in which they find themselves, such as their homes, and statements made by participants. But data can also be collected from other individuals present in the environment in which the users are, who can also be children, such as the children of teachers or brothers of students.

"In addition to the data directly provided by users and participants, personal data are also observed, such as the number of accesses to the platform, hours of access to the platform, level of participation in activities, from which new sensitive information from users of these platforms is deductible (eg, interest in activities, ability to solve problems) and that, taken as a whole, allows the definition of individualized user profiles ", says the authority.

The thoughtful choice of platforms is also a fundamental point due to the possibility of defining privacy settings, and the information retention time. The training of teachers and students is also considered to be relevant, with awareness of good practices.

The recommendations generally cover the various stakeholders, and the CNPD says that "whenever possible, technologies that involve the least possible exposure of the holder and his family environment should be chosen", favoring discussion forums over video conferences.

It is recalled that several companies and organizations have been warning about the risks of using the Zoom platform, which has already been banned by Google and the state of New York.