UNESCO IITE launches Personal Data Security Technical Guide for Online Education Platforms

Personal Data Security Guide cover

The new Personal Data Security Technical Guide for Online Education Platforms has been launched by the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) in partnership with the research team at Tsinghua University.

Personal data security in education has been a long-standing issue with development of online learning. However, it has never been so critical as today during the COVID-19 pandemic and prioritized by UNESCO among the top challenges we are confronting. Therefore, technical recommendations on personal data security for online education platforms are urgently needed both for current situation and for long term education planning. UNESCO IITE in partnership with the research team led by Professor Xiaoyun Wang at Tsinghua University has drafted this technical guide. Professors from Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shandong University and technical experts from Microsoft, Alibaba, Tencent, Inspur and Blackboard have made collective contribution to the accomplishment of this work in a short period of time.

The goal of this Technical Guide is to promote the rights to privacy of teachers and students of all ages and protection of their personal data. It is designed for service providers of online education platforms and educational stakeholders to minimize the risks while managing personal data of students and teachers. Additionally, beyond providing the front-line support to individuals and communities during the COVID-19 outbreak, it will assist educational authorities to ensure the personal data security in online education with respect to national and international regulations.

This Technical Guide outlines key recommendations for online education platform providers and relevant education and technical administrators in terms of technical solutions, management and awareness raising. It follows the basic principles of the United Nations (UN) for personal data protection, documents adopted by relevant UN Agencies such as UNICEF, UNDG and ITU as well as technical ISO standards. Technical specifications and regulations from other international organizations and different countries and regions are also referred. In addition, thanks to the research teams and experts engaged, this Technical Guide also reflects the most advanced technologies in data security and protection.

Download the Personal Data Security Technical Guide for Online Education Platforms or visit our Major reading page.