Sunday, August 11, 2019

#VWEDU: #DTA: The digital teacher assistant and FERPA: there are security issues.

The digital teacher assistant and FERPA: 
there are security issues.

Preliminary consideration of privacy issues in virtual worlds when DTA collect data traceable to individual students. This article is explicitly licensed Public Domain (CC0).
The Empty Classroom
Security here?

FERPA compliance

DTA and FERPA compliance


Suggested efforts to ensure privacy

Level 1: Secure environment 

Level 2: Secure transmission

  • The viewers currently used in OpenSimulator grids do not use secure transmission.
  • Transmission of student records can probably be secure (https) by design of the API
  • Whether a secure API is adequate security is a legal question.
  • Level 2 security is only needed if data includes student records with personal identification.

Preliminary assessment of security for DTA


 Installed virtual worlds

  • I know only about OpenSimulator and Second Life
  • I only know enough to cite generally recognized vulnerabilities.
  • The Organization service of Kitely seems to meet Level 1 requirements.
  • The terms of service of Second Life may conflict with the privacy of student products.
  • Common viewers in OpenSimulator do not meet level 2 requirements.
  • Schools could provide security by running their own grid and all communication under their own control, with end-to-end encryption.
  • But that might be expensive.
  • Schools could provide security by using inworld nicknames that do not identify the students. 
  • The matching the nicknames to student IDs would be handled by batch registration.
  • Some modules of DTA  collect no personal information and so have no privacy issue.

More about DTA


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  • Original text in this blog is CC By: unless specified public domain
  • Use as you please with attribution: link to the original.
  • All images without attribution in this blog are CC0: public domain.
  • Second LifeLindenSLurl, and SL are trademarks of Linden Research Inc.
  • Annotated screenshots made with Jing
  • This blog is not affiliated with anything.   Ads are from Google.
  • Selby Evans in Kitely and hypergrid, Thinkerer Melville in Second Life.

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