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Harmonize Certified By IMS Global as a TrustEdApp

Mar 10, 2021 9:33:34 AM

Data privacy today and why it matters

Harmonize recently earned data privacy certification from the IMS Global Learning Consortium, becoming one of the first discussion platform vendors to receive its ”TrustEdApp” seal. Certification means that Harmonize has successfully completed the rigorous IMS TrustEd Apps vetting process and meets expectations to protect student data privacy. 

The IMS TrustEd Apps Seal provides institutions with a quick and easy way to understand the data privacy features of edtech apps and digital resources using criteria established by IMS members to evaluate data privacy criteria across four critical areas including data collection, security, third-party data sharing, and advertising. 

The massive shift to distance learning that has occurred over the past year brought with it a new attention to data privacy, particularly around how student data is collected, handled, and secured. Across higher education, administrators are taking measures to secure that data and promote better data privacy practices across their campuses. With good reason: as students have moved online, they and their families have raised concerns over how their data is being managed

The 2001 Educause Horizon Report: Information Security Edition notes that while students trust their institutions to handle their data appropriately, they have little understanding of precisely how that data is being managed. In response, authors of the Horizon Report suggest that institutions will need to be more transparent about what information they are collecting and how that information is used. They suggest institutions will need to make data privacy a priority by taking a number of steps, including a review of their education technology to assess how well it allows the institution to comply with data privacy regulations. 

Harmonize has always put data privacy concerns first. We have established a robust data privacy policy that we review annually. Simply put, we collect only the bare minimum of data we need to assure that students and instructors can use our products as intended and always encrypt that data whether in motion or at rest. We never sell personal data or use it for any other marketing purposes. (We don’t serve up advertisements in our application, for example, so never collect data to “target” your students). We support the latest LTI  specifications for user authentication and authorization, so Harmonize never needs access to a username or password.

In addition to IMS Global TrustEd App certification, we also meet all checklist points published by the Privacy Technical Assistance Center of the Department of Education

Approaches to data privacy, of course, will continue to evolve. Indeed, at least 10 states are proposing legislation to strengthen data privacy for consumers. At Harmonize, we will continue to work with our higher education partners to understand their privacy concerns, monitor data privacy and protection trends, and deliver the highest levels of data security and transparency to our customers. 

View our IMS Global certifications here.

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