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NPC advises schools to enforce social media policy, guidelines on the use of webcams

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In a press release posted on its Facebook page, the Philippines’ National Privacy Commission (NPC) has announced its updated online learning guidelines.

The NPC is advising schools who are taking classes online to “strictly enforce a social media policy”. As per the commission, this will remind the possible data privacy consequences of people sharing screen recording, videos, images, chats, and sounds that involves teachers and students during an online class on different social media websites.

Press Release February 16, 2021PRIVACY COMMISSION’S UPDATED ONLINE LEARNING GUIDELINES ADVISE SCHOOLS TO ENFORCE…

Posted by National Privacy Commission on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

As per the NPC, doing so can have implications on the “data and other related regulations”.

To develop these revisions, the NPC talked with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Their inputs came from actual teachers, students, schools, and even parents, who shared their current school year experience.

As the educational institution shifts to online learning, the NPC still wants to prioritize data privacy.

With the strict implementation of the social media policy, school personnel and teachers cannot share any personal data collected from an online class or school activities in their social media accounts or others.

As per the assignment and school requirement submissions, it can be done through online messaging applications on a case-to-case basis to help protect both the students’ and teachers’ privacy. The key part is, the submission should be made directly to the educator or school personnel.

The same thing should be done vice-versa. Report cards, exam results, and others should be sent to the students, parents, or concerned recipient directly. None of this information should be posted publicly.

Related

As for the use of cameras and webcams in online classes, the privacy commission stressed that it should be reasonable even though it’s allowed. For one, turning on the camera during online classes and examinations will help educators to “supervise and monitor learners.”

But to improve privacy, the NPC is encouraging teachers and students to use virtual background, a feature common on video conferencing apps like Zoom, that will keep their living spaces private.

The NPC also wants schools to be considerate of the possible technical issues that students may face. That may include limited internet connection, device malfunction, and others. The commission wants schools to find alternative ways to monitor online classes if such problems arise.

Recording a class for public posting might be prohibited, but it can be allowed if used by students who missed a particular class — which is still subject to school policies. It can also be used for training purposes, but the students and/or parents should be informed beforehand.

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