Vibal Publishing, Websafekids.org and SafeGov.org stand up for Data Privacy in education in the Philippines.
MANILA, Philippines, May 2013 — The impact of technology has brought new tools to improve learning in the classroom. However, more schools are adopting digital and cloud computing without considering how vendors of this technology would access and use the personal identifiable information (PII) of our children for advertising purposes. Companies who are rigorously sharing PII without consent may put students at risk as their information may end up in the hands of hackers, human traffickers and identity theft felons among others.
On this account, concerned organizations such as Vibal Publishing, Websafekids.org and SafeGov.org have expressed strong commitment to advocate for and raise awareness on student data privacy in Philippine education through an upcoming forum on June 6, 2013. Organized by Vibal and supported by Websafekids.org and SafeGov.org, the forum will gather education leaders, parents, teachers and government representatives to provide a comprehensive discussion on the issues surrounding data privacy. It aims to educate parents that their kids are in danger if businesses continue to violate data privacy in education.
Data privacy is the right of everyone, including kids, to a protected and controlled digital footprint. Privacy should thrive even in the online space inasmuch as personal data shared through email and social media should be responsibly handled.
In the United States, Massachusetts is one of the first States that introduced a legislation aimed at regulating and banning companies from using student data for commercial purposes through the MA Bill 331. In the Philippines, President Aquino III signed into law the Data Privacy Act in July 2012. However, to date, the Data Privacy Commission has not yet been formed, leading Filipinos subject to personal data abuse. This means that personal information of netizens such those of students might be in the hand of organized crimes. Their email address, physical address, telephone number or even email content may be utilized by kidnappers, pedophiles, human traffickers, drug dealers or other delinquents to orchestrate their motives.
“We aim to be an innovative partner in helping transform education in the country. From publishing textbooks and now, providing digital tools such multi-platform apps for education, our goal to advance learning will not be realized if the students’ basic right is violated,” shared Rio Brigino of Vibal Publishing. “Data should be stored in appropriate places commensurate with the privacy and security needs of students and teachers. We are organizing the event called Data Privacy in Education because there is a compelling need to raise awareness and mobilize stakeholders on the issue.”
Jovel Cipriano, founder of Websafekids.org said, “At Websafekids, we strive to educate, engage and empower children on how to recognize and resist potential Internet risks. Student data belongs to students and teachers, and should only be used for learning and not for commercial gain and definitely not for criminal activities. Privacy and independence in our schools should be respected while users should always be empowered to retain control of their data.”
“Solutions for education, if they are really designed to help achieve progress in school, should only focus on helping students improve their learning outcomes and not sell their data for business purposes. Data mining only destroys the building block of education as they lead students to potential danger,” said Jeff Gould of SafeGov.org. “Our commitment to data privacy is a reflection of our responsibility to promote trusted and responsible cloud computing solutions for the public sector to enable them make well-informed procurement choices.”
To learn more on student data privacy, visit HYPERLINK “http://www.safegov.org” www.safegov.org . For more details on the slated Data Privacy in Education forum such as time and venue, watch out for announcements in the coming days.
About Vibal Publishing
Vibal Publishing House, Inc., the Philippines’ leading publisher of educational materials for basic education, was founded in 1953 by the late veteran newspaperman Hilarion Vibal, and his wife, Esther Asuncion-Vibal.
The company’s precursor, Insurance and Finance Publishing Co., initially published the Insurance and Finance Magazine, which helped jumpstart the growth of local businesses in the aftermath of World War II.
Spurred by the rapid growth of the textbook publishing industry in the ’50s and ’60s, Mrs. Vibal sought entry into the field in 1961 with the launch of Science in Schools, a supplementary school magazine. The succeeding years saw Vibal’s emergence as a key player in the textbook industry. From science to mathematics and well into English and social studies, Vibal made a lasting imprint in the minds of young students as it released several titles across major subject areas, bucking the prevailing trend in an industry dominated by American publishers.
Websafekids.org is an interactive, educational program that provides resources to help teach children how to be safer online. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement. With resources such as ads, videos, articles, and presentations, Websafekids should entertain while it educates.
SafeGov.org is a forum for IT providers and leading industry experts dedicated to promoting trusted and responsible cloud computing solutions for the public sector. By fostering a more comprehensive understanding of cloud technologies, including their benefits, capabilities and limitations, SafeGov.org works to empower government users to make well-informed procurement choices from the growing universe of marketplace offerings.
This is the Press release of the Data Privacy Media Event.