Safe enough? Data Privacy and Security in Schools

Trust is a fragile thing. Hard to earn, but easily lost.

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Safe enough? Data Privacy and Security in Schools

Schools are trusted institutions. They maintain and manage significant amount of personal data for their students and communities. Who has access to that data and how it is protected is of paramount importance to a school’s community.

But how prepared are schools in the event of a data breach? And how aware are they of the requirements to protect data? Layers of uneven regulatory frameworks, legislation and the complexity of digital transformation create additional barriers for schools to navigate as they embrace the rapidly changing digital landscape.

To help start the conversation, Civica commissioned the Institute of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Technology Sydney to conduct research into how schools can best respond to emerging challenges around the use and protection of data.

We operate in an environment where privacy concerns are paramount and data protection must be grounded in ethical practices that inspire trust, while meeting compliance requirements. So privacy of data and the protection of sensitive information is a responsibility that we take very seriously.

Simon Jones, Managing Director, Libraries & Education Civica International

In our report we examine:

Understanding the digital world

Privacy is a defining issue of our time, even though it is difficult to define, let alone protect. Schools must understand how to strike the balance between effective use of big data and protecting the privacy of individuals.

Understanding the digital landscape

Digital ethics and privacy are one of the 10 most important technology trends for 2019. But just 45% of schools are prepared in the event of a data breach.

Understanding risk

Schools are at risk from data breaches whether they be accidental, malicious or a system error. They must be prepared or they risk long-term reputational damage, financial and operational consequences, and most importantly, damage to individuals through incursions of their private information.

Understanding compliance

Despite mandatory reporting of data breaches and the risk of hefty fines, too many school staff are resistant to taking on the responsibility for data management and security, see it as “someone else’s problem” or “just an IT issue”.

Understanding trust

Trust is a fundamental and fragile asset to schools. School communities need to be reassured that schools are prepared for any possible cyber breach or data incursion, whether malicious or accidental.


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