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EdTech News for Friday, January 27, 2023: Data Privacy Week, Stronger Penalties for Colleges that Misrepresent Their Programs

It’s Data Privacy Week and with so many third-party apps being using in education, student data privacy has been on the radar in both administration and instruction. The week is timed to remind the international community about the legally-binding rights to privacy and data protection that were enshrined by the signing of Convention 108 in 1981. Canada has privacy and data protection legislation in place, but residents of every country still need to educate themselves to protect themselves.


“Privacy is a fundamental right that we should not have to surrender in the name of innovation or profit,” said Philippe Dufresne the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. “When individuals trust that their rights will be protected, they feel confident about participating freely in the digital economy without having to choose between this participation and their fundamental privacy rights.”


This year, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has created a series of videos featuring tips from the Office’s staff. Their campaign is on twitter @PrivacyPrivee’s tweets and LinkedInOffice of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada/Commissariat à la protection de la vie privée. 


Press release: https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/opc-news/news-and-announcements/2023/an_230123/


Potential medical students are going to have to work harder to find a school to meet their needs. With domestic enrollments down and competition for foreign students increasing, it’s not surprising that no one has time to crisis manage potential criticism. Medical schools at several prominent universities have had enough from the US News and World Report’s rankings. Today Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago announced that it won’t be working to get on the “Best Medical Schools” ranking next year.


“We have notified U.S. News editors that we do not plan to submit data for their medical school rankings next year,” said Mark Anderson, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and the Dean of the Pritzker School of Medicine and the Biological Sciences Division (BSD) at UChicago. “In addition, we have asked them to convene stakeholders — including medical school applicants, current medical students, and other medical schools — to discuss how best to measure and report what matters most to those applying to become tomorrow’s physicians. This decision is based on our judgment that the current methodology raises deep concerns about inequity perpetuated by the misuse of metrics that fail to capture the quality or outcomes of medical education for those who most need these data: applicants to medical school.”

With this decision, the University of Chicago medical school joins medical faculties at the Icahn medical school of Mount Sinai as well as medical schools based at Columbia, Stanford Universities and the University of Pennsylvania.

Press release: https://www.newswise.com/articles/uchicago-s-pritzker-school-of-medicine-calls-for-discussion-on-ratings-system-as-it-withdraws-from-u-s-news-rankings


While institutions are questioning the methods used by media outlets that creating rankings, the US Government’s Accountability Office is urging the Department of Education to take stronger action against colleges that make false or misleading statements that jeopardize students’ ability to finish their degrees, pay back student loans or obtain employment.


Earlier this month the Office recommended that the DOE to update its written procedures for investigations and for imposing penalties on colleges that engaged in substantial misrepresentation.


Between 2016 and 2021 the DOE issued penalties to 13 colleges its investigators found to have made substantial representations or omissions about their programs.


Press release: https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-23-104832

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Kate Baggott

Head of Content and Communications at Edusity
Kate Baggott is the Head of Content and Communications for the Edusity family of companies that includes Edusity.com, TheBabbGroup.com, ProfessorServices.com and Cudoo.com

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