A recent string of articles online have been calling out Zoom for its privacy concerns and for the number of break-ins to online classes, company meetings, and church gatherings. Youtubers are also joining in to show how its done:
STARTS AT 10:22 [WARNING: Explicit language, alcohol use, drugs]
Unfortunately, this means teachers, schools, and districts will begin to shun Zoom and its robust platform. Reportedly, Clark County District of Las Vegas is one of the first districts to publicly ban the once district approved resource out of security concerns. Passwords help protect online class meetings, but with the potential for someone to come into the classroom meeting, student safety, privacy, and data is a very real concern.
What Educators Need to Know
School districts, schools, and teachers who were once told that Zoom is an acceptable means to holding online class should halt online meetings now and look for an alternative, preferably another district approved resource.
Due to both Federal Acts and State Ed Codes meant to protect students and sensitive populations, educators in California and across the United States should take immediate action:
Relevant Ed Code:
Districts need to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), the California Information Practices Act (California Civil Code Section 1798 et seq.), California Education Code Section 49062 et seq., Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA), California Education Code 49073.6, California Education Code 49073.1, Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution, and all other applicable federal and state laws and regulations that safeguard education records, privacy, and confidentiality.
If you are outside the State of California, FERPA still applies and you should alert your colleagues, principal, and other members of your education community to help protect students, even if they are not yours.
It is our responsibility to ensure the well-being and online safety of all students.
If you are a parent, please ensure your teacher knows about your concerns.
It is unfortunate that we will need to say good-bye to Zoom as a school and district resource. Even if Zoom addresses concerns put forth by K-12 educators, it is unlikely that the Zoom app will be approved for use again anytime soon.