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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Software Industry on Data Privacy

The software industry argued today that no new legislation is needed to protect student privacy because adequate controls are already in place.

We do not think new federal legislation is necessary at this time,” Mark MacCarthy, vice president of public policy for the Software & Information Industry Association, testified at a joint subcommittee hearing. “New federal legislation creates substantial risks of harm to the innovative use of information that is essential to improving education.”

MacCarthy acknowledged that student privacy is not always protected adequately in contracts between private companies and school districts. He said association members are working to tighten contract language. But he said that regardless of how contracts are worded, SIIA member companies are committed to comply with the association’s best practices for protecting student data.

MacCarthy also emphasized the benefits of data mining to help teachers and administrators “identify students at risk, personalize learning, improve communication with parents… and inform decision making.”

He spoke before a joint hearing of the Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies

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