The discussion was conducted within the Protecting Learner Data, Privacy and Security in the Global Shift to Online Learning - COVID-19 UNESCO’s Education Webinar.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all spheres of social life and the education system has been no exception. The governments around the world have agreed to school closures in order to try to contain the global pandemic. All education establishments have transitioned education from offline to online environments. According to UNESCO, 57 countries have launched the educational platforms for distance learning. In parallel with actions by Governments, learner and educational data became available to the digital corporations.
The speakers of the webinar were Borhene Chakroun, Director for Policy and Lifelong Learning Systems at UNESCO; Sylvie Cochet, Director for IT UNESCO; Amelia Vance, Director of Youth and Education Privacy at the Future of Privacy Forum; Liz Sproat, Google's Head of Education for Europe, Martin Dougiamas, the founder of the open-source Moodle LMS; Pascale Raulin-Serrier, French Data Protection Authority (CNIL).
The experts discussed what steps the education authorities and other stakeholders can take to protect learner data, privacy and security. They also considered the implementation of educational opportunities afforded by Zoom, Google, Moodle and other digital systems.
Despite the rapid development of online education, its regulatory and legal support lags behind. Many of the issues are transferred to the educational organizations, while national legislations and regulations indicate general restrictions.