Remote learning applications have been a lifeline for schools, colleges and universities during the COVID-19 outbreak, but they may also bring unexpected privacy challenges, according to attorney Beth Tyner Jones, a leader of Womble Bond Dickinson’s Education and School Law Team.
Jones recently spoke about these challenge with Bloomberg Law. With regular classes disrupted in virtually every state due to COVID-19 concerns, educators have turned to online video meeting apps to maintain some semblance of a normal school year. But Jones said “There is little time for true diligence or compliance vetting” as schools are scrambling to implement emergency online learning plans.
For example, schools may violate privacy laws if they use these remote learning applications to analyze student downloading habits or if they collect too much (or the wrong type) of student data.
Jones tells Bloomberg Law that tech companies are “playing in highly regulated sectors they have not historically targeted, and schools are trying to integrate new technology in a way they may not have ever fully explored.”
Beth Tyner Jones is a leader of the firm’s Education and School Law Team, head of its Employment and Pensions Service Team and Managing Partner of the Research Triangle Park and Raleigh, NC. She builds upon her experience as an HR professional, in-house employment lawyer and a college faculty member to defend employers and serve as a trusted adviser to educational institutions.