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Updated guideline protects student and teacher privacy

That one handy little tool to do a quiz with students: can you use that or will you inadvertently put their privacy at risk? New privacy guidelines offers a solution.

As a faculty, we have a duty to protect the privacy of teachers and students, but in practice this still sometimes goes wrong, Privacy Officer Max van Arnhem observes. 'Lecturers use “handy” software or platforms, but they don’t always realise that these platforms earn their money from our personal data or that security is not properly regulated,' he explains.

Even students themselves are not always aware of privacy risks. 'For example, they tell a staff member about their mental health problems,' Van Arnhem says. 'We need to realise that they do make that kind of mistake and protect them from it as much as possible.'


The updated ''Privacy at Leiden University for Teachers'' guidelines can help. 'In this booklet you will find explanations about privacy in education, but also an overview of the processes, platforms and software that are allowed to be used,' says Van Arnhem. 'By bringing all the outdated and non-compliant information up to date again, we hope to help teachers deal with privacy and education.'

'Involve me'

Van Arnhem points out that even the new guidelines will not be complete: there are simply too many processes, applications and exceptions for that. 'In the guidelines, we therefore ask people to involve a Privacy Officer in good time for non-standard activities or if there is any doubt about privacy. At the moment, we find that often happens too late. That’s a shame, because it often costs more time and money if we have to arrange everything at a later stage. It also means we have to say “no” more often.'

You can view the updated manual ''Privacy at Leiden University for Teachers'' here.

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