Press Releases & Media Coverage

EdTech Leader Reinforces Commitment to Student Data Privacy

Bloomington, IL (October 14, 2014) – Gaggle confirmed today its participation in a new pledge to safeguard data privacy regarding the collection, maintenance and use of student personal information.

The company is one of the 13 K-12 school service providers participating in the pledge created by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). The group is comprised of some of the leading names in education technology, including Microsoft, DreamBox Learning, Follett, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. SIIA and FPF will continue reaching out to educators, parent groups and companies over the next several months to promote the pledge and garner participation from other school service providers.

“We didn’t hesitate when asked to be one of the first companies to sign this important data privacy pledge,” said Gaggle CEO and founder Jeff Patterson. “Gaggle has been working with school districts for 15 years and we’ve always maintained clear terms regarding how we treat student data.”

The pledge was created with guidance from the school service providers, educator organizations and other stakeholders following a convening by U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (CO) and Luke Messer (IN). It makes clear that school service providers are accountable to:

  • Not sell student information
  • Not behaviorally target advertising
  • Use data for authorized education purposes only
  • Not change privacy policies without notice and choice
  • Enforce strict limits on data retention
  • Support parental access to, and correction of errors in, their children’s  information
  • Provide comprehensive security standards
  • Be transparent about collection and use of data

“These commitments clearly and concisely articulate a set of expectations that parents and education officials have for the safeguarding of children’s sensitive data,” said Jules Polonetsky, FPF executive director and co-chair, in a joint announcement made last week from FPF and SIIA. “The pledge will enhance the trust between families, schools and third-party service providers necessary to support the safe and effective use of student information for student, teacher and school success.”

“We introduce this pledge as a clear industry commitment to safeguard the privacy and security of all student personal information,” said Mark Schneiderman, SIIA’s senior director of education policy. “Current law provides extensive restrictions on the use of student information, and this industry pledge will build on and detail that protection to promote even greater confidence in the appropriate use of student data.”

About FPF
The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a Washington, DC based think tank that seeks to advance responsible data practices. The forum is led by Internet privacy experts Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf and includes an advisory board comprised of leading figures from industry, academia, law and advocacy groups.  For more information, visit www.futureofprivacy.org.

About SIIA
SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to the leading companies that are setting the pace for the digital age. For more information, visit www.siia.net.