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Schools: Full Marks in Privacy. New Guidance by the Italian DPA on How to ‘Teach and Respect Privacy in Schools’

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Schools: Full Marks in Privacy
New Guidance by the Italian DPA on How to ‘Teach and Respect Privacy in Schools´

May one post pictures of school plays on a social network? How about recording one´s classes? How to prevent cyberbullying or sexting? What precautions are needed in publishing school staff rankings? Are there specific measures to be taken regarding school canteens or in handling the ‘student´s portfolio´?

These are but a few of the questions addressed in the new guidance booklet published by the Italian DPA – called ‘Schools: Full Marks in Privacy´. The guidance is aimed at helping students, families, teachers and schools navigate the world of data protection with ease.

‘Schools are faced day by day with a daunting challenge: not only have they to educate the new generations teaching the basic notions and passing on knowledge, they are actually called upon to teach respect for the core values of our society. In the age of the Internet and  new forms of communication and  information sharing, this task takes on increased importance´ said the DPA´s President, Mr. Antonello Soro. ‘It is fundamental – Mr. Soro continued – to reaffirm, day by day, also in schools, principles like privacy and  personal dignity that must remain at the very core of one´s education as a citizen.´

The booklet opens with an introduction exploring the concepts of ‘teaching and respecting privacy in schools´; it then continues by taking stock of the cases addressed by the DPA most frequently so as to provide food for thought as well as guidance regarding the many questions posed by families and institutions alike: how to process students´ personal data lawfully, especially if sensitive data on their health or religious beliefs are involved; what rules should be followed to publish personal data on a school´s website or to disclose those data to families; how can one use tablets and smartphones appropriately; what safeguards should be in place regarding the data of students with learning disabilities; and so on.

Special attention is also paid to ‘school 2.0´ and the appropriate use of new technologies in order to prevent cyberbullying and other situations that may negatively affect youths´ development.

The booklet includes five short chapters (General Rules; A Student´s Life; Networked World and New Technologies; Online Publications; Video Surveillance and Other Issues) providing rules and examples; there are two ‘operational´ chapters as well (a section on Key Words and an Appendix – For Bookworms)  that are meant to clarify privacy terminology and provide an overview of the applicable legal framework.

The booklet will be sent in a digital version to all public and private schools in Italy and can also be obtained in print by applying to the DPA at ufficiostampa@garanteprivacy.it or else downloaded directly from the DPA´s website at www.garanteprivacy.it.




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