What Do College Students Really Think of Data Privacy?

2 min read
Sign that reads "privacy please"
Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

ETUG, the British Columbia Education Technology User Group, is hosting their annual fall workshop tomorrow. The topic is Assessment, Analytics and Student Learning: Privacy and our Emerging Tools (schedule).

Serendipity is a wonderful thing. As I am preparing to spend the day tomorrow reconnecting with my ETUG colleagues, this article popped up in my RSS reader EDUCAUSE 2021: What Do College Students Really Think of Data Privacy?

Not surprisingly, students are becoming much more aware of the data that is being collected about them and are wanting to have more of a say in what data institutions are collecting about them and more transparency in how that data is being used.

The article quotes from a Future of Privacy Forum report “College Students’ Attitudes Toward Data Privacy” where 1,500 college students were asked about their views on data privacy at their institutions, which was followed up by 17 qualitative interviews with students. The research shows that;

  • Seventy-one percent of survey respondents believe they should have the right to control how their colleges use data about them.
  • Seventy percent of survey respondents trust their colleges or universities to protect their personal information.
  • Sixty-one percent trust their schools’ learning and advising management systems to protect their personal information.
  • Forty-seven percent trust the technology platforms their schools use for remote learning to protect their personal information.
  • Students who identify as nonbinary are less comfortable with their schools collecting facial recognition data than those who identify as male or female.
  • Students who self-identify as having mental health disorders are less comfortable having data used to measure how well they are paying attention in class or to ensure they are not cheating during online exams than those who do not.

I am looking forward to digging deeper into this topic with my ETUG colleagues tomorrow. ETUG is a fully virtual event and registration is free.

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