Data protection at school

We have been invited to give a conference on the protection and management of digital data for the teachers of a secondary school in Bienne. The results of the preparation of this intervention show that there is still a lot of information and training to be done with the school staff in Switzerland.

iCloud sync and recycle garbage can

While terms like iCloud, Google, Facebook and Whatsapp come to mind, data protection is also about things you might not think of at first: an email to a parent or school partner, mailboxes in the hallway, a few handwritten notes about a student tossed in a trash can, a student listing for a ski camp.

Thus, the objective of this intervention was to make teachers aware of what the notion of "personal data" implies and in what broad scope it falls. It was not an exhaustive legal presentation, but to help teachers ask themselves the right questions and learn about good practices for managing data in their work.

The question is not new

The data protection law and the rules of official secrecy apply - or should apply - already and for a long time to mailboxes, the teacher's room, registration forms, communications to parents, etc.

However, in the digital age, the security perimeter has expanded dramatically. With smartphones and cloud services used by everyone, the dissemination of data is no longer limited to a teacher's room, a letter to parents or a teacher's bag. On the one hand, the "big mess" may only require a click or two. On the other hand, technology raises the question of data control and lifespan. In addition, social networks, for example, create new situations. It is the data subject himself who feeds the platforms with his data, and he feeds them with data from third parties without his consent (e.g. photo tags), all without any control over what will happen to it. Finally, the power of these technologies in terms of processing, profiling, aggregating and cross-referencing data is simply phenomenal.

Interpretation exercise

To combine the practice of the profession and the respect of the LDP, of the possible cantonal laws and communal regulations, or even internal directives is an exercise of interpretation of the highest order. What data can be collected, transmitted, by what means and to whom? How to ensure their security and who is responsible for them? How to choose an app or an educational web service? All these different aspects were discussed on the basis of practical cases.

The conference should allow teachers to reflect on these issues and to acquire concrete tools (best practices, rules for school children, etc.).

You want to organize a conference or a workshop on this topic?