Privacy and Security FAQs

Why is my child’s Google Apps account her student ID number for Caroline County Public Schools? It is my understanding that student ID numbers are private information.

Caroline County Public Schools employs a “walled garden” approach to implement Google Apps for Education. Using student ID numbers as user IDs is consistent with existing privacy regulations. While Caroline County Public Schools does use student ID numbers in different internal applications, the numbers are protected by a PIN (personal identification number) as in the case of lunch money or the students have no direct access to the system as in the case of the library system. When the school system’s Technology Department reviewed Google Apps for Education, the issue of students being able to see the ID number of other students was found to be within acceptable security guidelines because Google Apps accounts are secured by a personal password. Teachers and staff members have been notified about acceptable and unacceptable uses of student ID numbers.

What about Google Apps for Education privacy?

Caroline County Public Schools is responsible for protecting and safeguarding the confidentiality of student information. Caroline County Public Schools has contracted with Google to provide access to Google Apps for Education in a closed and secure environment for students and staff members. Google Apps is governed by a detailed privacy policy and security measures. Caroline County Public Schools has reviewed the privacy policy and security measures and believes they appropriately protect the privacy of users. Under the school system’s terms of service agreement with Google, the company is obligated to comply with FERPA regulations. Additional information about Google Apps for Education security and privacy may be found at www.google.com/apps/intl/en/edu/privacy.html.

What assurances has Google given Caroline County Public Schools that it will not collect data on my student?

Caroline County Public Schools has a signed agreement with Google based on the terms of this agreement: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/education_terms.html. Please see Section 7. CCPS Google Apps for Education is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as FERPA, and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

Who has access to my child’s account?

The Google Apps agreement with Caroline County Public Schools contractually ensures that our students, faculty and staff members are the sole owners of their data. Google will only access content stored on Apps when a Caroline County Public Schools administrator grants Google explicit permission to do so. One example would be to investigate inappropriate use.

Does my child retain copyright of his creations?

The same copyright rules apply to content in Google Apps for Education that apply to any other creation, provided the student is the sole owner.

What protection will Caroline County Public Schools provide so that my child is not accessing inappropriate content on the web?

There are no advertisements used with Google Apps for Education. Google Apps for Education is an online collaboration tool that is accessed using a web browser and requires a login and password. Caroline County Public Schools also uses a CIPA-compliant web filter that blocks inappropriate categories (as defined in Virginia Code § 22.1-70.2, § 42.1-36.1). This filter is active on Chromebooks only while in school.