Personal data security in education has been a long-standing issue with development of online learning. However, it has never been so critical as today during the COVID-19 pandemic and prioritized by UNESCO among the top challenges we are confronting. Therefore, technical recommendations on personal data security for online education platforms are urgently needed both for current situation and for long term education planning. The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) in partnership with the research team led by Professor Xiaoyun Wang at Tsinghua University has drafted this technical guide. Professors from Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shandong University and technical experts from Microsoft, Alibaba, Tencent, Inspur and Blackboard have made collective contribution to the accomplishment of this work in a short period of time.
This Technical Guide outlines key recommendations to online education platform providers and relevant education and technical administrators in terms of technical solutions, management as well as awareness raising. It follows the basic principles of the United Nations (UN) for personal data protection, documents adopted by relevant UN Agencies such as UNICEF, UNDG and ITU as well as technical ISO standards. Technical specifications and regulations from other international organizations and different countries and regions are also referred. In addition, thanks to the research teams and experts engaged, this Technical Guide also reflects the most advanced technologies in data security and protection.