Student Data Protection

ParentSquare Joins Access 4 Learning Student Data Privacy Consortium

Unified school-home engagement provider ParentSquare has stepped up its commitment to student data protection by joining the nonprofit Access for Learning Community’s Student Data Privacy Consortium, the company said this week.

The announcement comes amid a growing call by cybersecurity experts and privacy advocates for tighter student data protection measures, following the revelation in recent months that two big data breaches, at Illuminate Education and Battelle For Kids, compromised the personal information of millions of U.S. K–12 students.

The Access for Learning Community and its Student Data Privacy Consortium was founded in 1997 by ed tech providers and school districts concerned about illicit threats to student data. The community comprises more than 3,000 K–12 schools, local school leaders, state and federal education agencies, and ed tech providers.

The A4L Community’s stated mission is to work toward a “common set of national and statewide privacy standards … regardless of the platform hosting those applications” while the SDPC aims to help schools and vendors “address the day-to-day, real-world, multifaceted issues faced when protecting learner information by setting expectations between market providers and end users,” according to the A4L website.

ParentSquare said its A4L membership will “simplify the procurement process for districts” using its platform and “give them greater confidence in knowing that the platform meets the highest standards of privacy protection required by their respective state authorities.”

“Protecting student data and privacy is critical in today's learning environment,” ParentSquare Chief Strategy Officer Chad A. Stevens said. “Our membership with A4L is just one more step we’ve taken to ensure greater governance of our data privacy best practices as we remain steadfast in our commitment to protect student data privacy.”

ParentSquare previously earned the iKeepSafe Privacy Certifications and has committed to the Student Privacy Pledge by the Future of Privacy Forum and the Software & Information Industry Association, which is considered a legally binding promise to safeguard student information; more than 200 other ed tech providers have signed the Student Privacy Pledge.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].