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June 08, 2013

Vibal Foundation leads Forum on Data Privacy in Education

Vibal Foundation, Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of the leading education publisher in the Philippines Vibal Publishing House, holds today the forum on data privacy in education entitled, “Are your kids tech-safe?”.


The forum aims to gather education leaders, parents, teachers and government representatives to provide a comprehensive discussion on the issues surrounding data privacy. It aims to educate parents that their kids are in danger if businesses continue to violate data privacy in education.


Esther Vibal, Chair of Vibal Group of Companies said, “With these tremendous leaps in the realm of digital education and technology-aided teaching and learning, whether online or offline, we've come to realize that certain safety nets have to be put in place to protect the privacy of data especially of Filipino students.”

“We hold this forum to rally the stakeholders: government, public and private schools, educators, teachers and parents, to have a unanimous voice in saying that we want our Filipino kids to be protected,” Vibal continued. “We do not want their information and data to be used for purposes other than education. We must be responsible in our use of technology, and be more aware and conscious of the dangers that exist in cyberspace.”


The forum started with the presentation from Jeff Gould of SafeGov.org, an international organization working on the IT providers and leading industry experts dedicated to promoting trusted and responsible cloud computing solutions for the public sector. Entitled The Privacy Challenge of Data Mining in Schools, the presentation zeroed in on the latest facts and figures on the alarming situation of data privacy around the globe. Gould stressed that companies should stop from using children’s personal identifiable information and from tracking their online activities because these put kids at risk as their information may end up in the hands of hackers, human traffickers and identity thieves among others.

  “Schools that receive services from cloud technology providers should insist on contracts that expressly ban the exploitation of children’s email or information for other purposes than education. They should also require these providers to offer a transparent and specific privacy policy with strict guarantees against user profiling or web tracking,” said Jeff Gould. “Appropriate policies, laws or regulations must be put in place as soon as possible to protect our kids from the serious harm of data privacy violation especially in the Philippines.”


Concerned advocates joined in the panel discussion to express and signify their support to the online safety of kids, namely Jovel Cipriano (Founder, Websafekids.org); Ka Arnulfo Empleyo (President, National Association of Public Secondary School Heads); Janice Villanueva (Founder, Mommy Mundo); Rhodora Ferrer (Executive Director, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines); and Ysrael Diloy (Advocacy and Training Officer, Stairway Foundation).

Data privacy is the right of everyone, including kids, to a protected and controlled digital footprint. Privacy should thrive even in the online space inasmuch as personal data shared through email and social media should be responsibly handled. To learn more on student data privacy, visit www.safegov.org.

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