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Data Privacy in Higher Education: Yes, Students Care

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Many in higher education believe that students who have grown up using digital technologies ("digital natives") have little concern for the privacy of their data. Research proves otherwise.

Data Privacy in Higher Education: Yes, Students Care
Credit: View Apart / Shutterstock.com © 2021

A popularly held belief is that people who have grown up using digital technologies ("digital natives," born in 1983 and later) have little concern for the privacy of their data.Footnote1 This is particularly concerning because many in this age group live much of their academic and personal lives online. A 2018 Pew Research Center survey found that almost all Americans 18 to 24 years old use social media platforms: YouTube (94%), Facebook (80%), Snapchat (78%), Instagram (71%), and Twitter (45%).Footnote2

What does this mean for higher education? A 2019 Inside Higher Ed survey found that 46 percent of faculty taught an online course, up from 44 percent in 2018 and 30 percent in 2013.Footnote3 And of course, when campus buildings shut down across the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, many colleges and universities transitioned to online learning—a trend that is likely to continue in the years ahead. In addition, higher education institutions increasingly depend on online platforms related to student learning, advising, and management in order to optimize processes and deliver student services at scale.

Today's students not only are users of these data products and platforms and online learning but also will become tomorrow's software engineers, technology entrepreneurs, and professionals in other fields integral to privacy conversations. Their attitudes toward data privacy will shape the policies and practices that govern the internet.

To better understand these attitudes and expectations, we reviewed publicly available qualitative and quantitative research studies on the privacy preferences, attitudes, and behaviors of college/university students in the United States and other countries. Specifically, we examined surveys and interviews conducted between 2010 and 2020 (with most studies published in the past five years). We relied solely on reported age groups that aligned with the "traditional" age of college/university students (~18–26).Footnote4

Students' Attitudes and Expectations

Students care about their data privacy, and this concern is increasing.

A 2016 EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) survey found that one-third of undergraduate students were "concerned that technology advances may increasingly invade [their] privacy." A Gallup poll in 2015 found that 44 percent of Millennials believe their personal information is kept private "some of the time" and that 26 percent believe their personal information is kept private "little" or "none of the time." In 2016, the Gallup poll showed that 44 percent of Millennials trusted companies to keep their personal information private "all" or "most of the time" but that 33 percent trusted companies to keep their personal information private "little" or "none of the time," a 7 percentage point increase from 2015. These surveys reflect students' growing awareness and distrust of entities possessing their data. In 2018, Gallup found that 39 percent of respondents ages 18 to 49 were "very concerned" about invasions of privacy when using Facebook, compared with 30 percent in 2011.Footnote5

Studies and surveys indicate that college/university students are wary of privacy risks and value privacy protections. Yet research also shows that they often behave in ways that put their and others' privacy at risk, a phenomenon called the "privacy paradox." A 2014 study of MIT undergraduates found that students claimed to value privacy, but when offered a free pizza, they readily disclosed the email addresses of three friends. According to the authors, "consumers deviate from their own stated preferences regarding privacy in the presence of small incentives, frictions and irrelevant information."Footnote6

Other research corroborates this view; a UK study of young adults' views of data privacy found: "Users, perhaps particularly young adults, report themselves to be very concerned about their online privacy and the flow of their personal information, yet upon examining their behavior it seems they freely share personal information and either do not engage, or do not engage effectively, with privacy settings on social networking sites." This contradictory behavior may result from a combination of factors: users who "lack the technical skills and understanding required to protect" their online privacy; "moral panic," whereby users have no interest in their personal privacy; and the "optimistic bias," whereby "users are concerned about privacy on a societal level but do not consider themselves to be vulnerable and so do not feel the need to actively protect their privacy."Footnote7

Notwithstanding the observed privacy paradox, ample evidence suggests that students take significant measures to protect their privacy. Libby, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, said that she carefully monitors which applications can access her information on Facebook: "If I end up granting (an application) access, I make sure to change settings so it can't post things to my newsfeed automatically. . . . It's important to me that I control exactly what is posted and what my friends will see from other applications." Another 2018 Pew survey found that 44 percent of Facebook users ages 18 to 29 had deleted the app from their phones in the previous year and that 64 percent had changed their Facebook privacy settings. In comparison, only 12 percent of users above the age of 65 and only 20 percent of users ages 50 to 64 had deleted the Facebook app; 33 percent of users above the age of 65 and 47 percent of users ages 50 to 64 adjusted their privacy settings.Footnote8

A qualitative study of US college/university students using Facebook also found that "the type of friend requests the participants accepted had changed over time. From accepting almost everyone requesting friendship, many participants reported having changed habits into being more restrictive about who they would accept." One 20-year-old female participant stated: "I was more open in the past [. . . if] I have no idea who they are I look at the mutual friends and then I will add them. Normally they will be: 'Ohh I met you here' and I will be like: 'Ohh yeah'. [. . .] If they are like: 'Hey I thought you were cute!' I will be like 'delete'!" The study also found that although most participants had changed their Facebook privacy settings from the default, most were still unaware of who could access which information and did not regularly manage or update their privacy settings.Footnote9

Students want to protect information regarding their personal lives and their academic or professional prospects, but they prioritize the latter.

Students are particularly sensitive to how their online presence can impact their future opportunities. A study of undergraduate students at a midwestern university found that participants judged uses of their Facebook information for personal and direct marketing purposes to be less privacy-invasive, compared with uses for professional purposes related to hiring or promotion. Another interview-based study at a midwestern university found that when participants were asked what they chose to post on Facebook, they emphasized protecting their future employment prospects: "This concern made the participants consider not only what they posted but also what friends posted on their wall and which pictures they were tagged in. Posting pictures and status updates including revealing pictures, illegal substances, and alcohol was in general for all participants a 'no-go.'"Footnote10

In an informal survey conducted by The Atlantic in 2018 to understand how the Cambridge Analytica privacy breach impacted social media use, David, a young professional living in Boston, explained that he began self-censoring his social media posts after a friend's mother found Facebook photos of him drinking while underage and reported the behavior to his school headmaster.  He continued: "Right off the bat I . . . understood that anything you post on there can be seen pretty much by anyone at any time. . . . So I don't really post anything at all. Anything that could be out there for public consumption, I try to manage very closely." The Atlantic found that of the 2,218 respondents, 82.2 percent self-censored on social media.Footnote11

Other research confirms the effects of young people's social media use on their academic opportunities. In 2019, Kaplan's annual Test Prep survey of college admissions officers found that 59 percent viewed applicants' social media profiles as "fair game" and that 32 percent were negatively influenced by what they saw. Yet the 2018 version of the survey had shown a three-year decline in the percentage of admissions officers who viewed applicants' social media posts—a result partially attributed to difficulty finding applicants' social media accounts. According to Kaplan, 52 percent of the admissions officers said that "students have become savvier about hiding their social media presence over the past few years or moving away from social communities where what they post is easy to find by people they don't know." A study examining privacy practices and attitudes among youth of low socioeconomic status confirmed this finding. As a 24-year-old focus group participant named Vikrama explained, he carefully curates his social media presence, including only professional information on his LinkedIn account and choosing not to post on Twitter or Facebook. According to the study's authors: "His anxiety around achieving permanent and gainful employment leads him to censor and edit all but the most mundane details of his life."Footnote12

This result may explain generational differences in the use of social media platforms. Young people are adapting to find their own spaces and compartmentalize the different aspects of their lives online. As parents and other authority figures become more active on social media, particularly Facebook, and monitor students' activities, young people feel compelled to move to other platforms where they can better protect their privacy. danah boyd, a researcher focusing on teenagers' use of social media, noted: "I see quotes over and over again from young people saying, 'Why are [adults on my social media site]? They don't belong here. Don't they understand?' Or, 'I wouldn't look at their content; why are they looking at mine?'"Footnote13

This insight suggests that while college/university students tend to prioritize privacy in their academic and professional lives, they still care deeply about protecting themselves from privacy violations outside of school and work. For example, most college-age Facebook users are friends with family members and other adults, such as teachers. Therefore, these users likely filter the information they post on Facebook, in contrast to other platforms. The above-mentioned study on Facebook use among college/university students noted: "Most participants were friends with family members and felt that if posted content was appropriate for family to see it was appropriate for everyone." A 20-year-old female participant stated: "I am friends with my mom on Facebook so I guess I am okay with my mom seeing it."Footnote14

In addition to carefully curating the information they choose to share based on the perceived audience, students are aware of the potential harms resulting from exposure of their personal information. "Doxing" is an increasingly common form of cyber-harassment about which young people express concern. This occurs when a digital antagonist gains access to personal documents—typically financial records, medical records, home addresses, phone numbers, or information about family members—and publishes them online. High-profile doxing, such as the Gamergate scandal, has contributed to a sentiment of fear among young people. Aviva, a 23-year-old participant in the above-noted study of youth of low socioeconomic status, identified doxing as her greatest fear online. She is careful to keep a low profile on social media and is highly protective of information such as her address or phone number. In her words: "You see people getting doxed and that makes you realize how easy it is for people to get to your information. So you really do have to be very careful about who you talk to, and what you present online."Footnote15

Suffering negative effects from admissions officers and potential employers discovering compromising information on social media profiles is more likely than being the victim of doxing or identity theft. The outcome of the latter is much worse, however, as students may suffer constant psychological, emotional, and even physical harassment or bear the reputational, financial, and perhaps criminal costs of someone having stolen their identity. Young people express a keen awareness of this personal risk.

Students expect boundaries between their personal and academic lives and want colleges and universities to use their data predominantly for educational purposes.

A 2015 EDUCAUSE report on undergraduate students' views of information technology found that more than three-fourths of students approved data collection for analytics when institutions used it for progress toward a degree or certificate goal and that most approved of such collection for assessing course performance. However, less than half of the students approved of data collection to analyze students' campus-based activities logged through their IDs, smart cards, or smartphones; one-third approved of geolocation data collection; and one-quarter approved of data collection to analyze their social media activities.Footnote16 Another interview-based study likewise found that students felt data collection was justified if the data was used only for educational purposes. One participant stated: "If they had the intention of using my data to create better programs or better educational tools, then I'm all for it."Footnote17 However, the study also revealed that students were generally unaware of which information their schools collected and for what purposes.

Consistent with these findings, a German study reported that 82 percent of students agreed to share their course enrollment data, 78 percent agreed to share their learning strategies test results, and 75 percent agreed to share their motivation test results for learning analytics purposes. In contrast, 92 percent of students were unwilling to share their medical data, 91 percent were unwilling to share their income, 90 percent were unwilling to share their social media data, and 87 percent were unwilling to share their marital status.Footnote18 This study suggests that students require a clear relationship between the information collected by their institutions and its use for educational purposes. Notably, most students were willing to share their social-emotional learning survey results, which may be considered highly sensitive information, but were uncomfortable sharing less sensitive social media information. Therefore, the types of information students seek to protect appears to depend heavily on the context of use, not solely the sensitivity of the information.

A survey of students' perceptions of risk on Facebook and other online settings confirmed the importance of context. More than 90 percent of the survey's 3,000 respondents listed their full names on Facebook, approximately 70 percent listed their birth date, approximately 70 percent listed their email address, more than 85 percent listed their hometowns, and almost 100 percent posted photos of themselves. However, only 10–14 percent listed their current address, and less than 30 percent listed their current phone number.Footnote19 While differing norms of engagement exist in schools and on social media, the question remains why students choose to share certain information in some contexts and not others. Further research on the differences between acceptable disclosure in academic and personal settings is necessary.

Students care more about protecting immutable identifiers, such as biometric information, in higher education contexts.

Unfortunately, research is lacking on which types of personal identifiers US students believe require greater protections. However, studies conducted in other countries suggest that students prioritize protecting immutable identifiers, such as biometric information, from their educational institutions. A comparative study of college/university students in China and Japan found that in an e-learning context, students considered their personal photos, mobile phone numbers, and physical addresses to be very private and were reluctant to submit this information to e-learning systems. However, they did not consider age, personal URLs, birthplace, instant messenger IDs, or email addresses to be sensitive information.Footnote20

Students have also mobilized to prevent schools and governments from adopting privacy-invasive systems that use biometric information. Erica Darragh, a community organizer from Georgia, is part of a campaign to ban facial recognition on campuses. In an article published in VICE, she wrote:

We have already given up so much privacy and liberty for the sake of "security," but facial recognition must be where this stops. Facial recognition does not improve security and may actually make it worse. It's also a technology that, once mainstreamed, can never be taken back. It is fundamentally coercive for educational institutions to require students to participate in biometric surveillance in order to attend class. While we wait for the government to ban facial recognition at the federal level, young people can take control of the narrative and demand policies that ban the technology in school districts and on college campuses.Footnote21

In March 2020, in response to a proposal to adopt facial recognition for security surveillance at UCLA, students from 36 campuses protested, in person and via online petitions, against the use of facial recognition systems. The pushback from students and the community led UCLA and about 50 other colleges and universities to promise not to use facial recognition technology on their campuses.Footnote22

Some personal identifiers, such as email addresses, are easily replaced, or people can possess many of them. But biometric information—such as facial, retinal, or fingerprint scans—is singular and irreplaceable. Students' strong belief in protecting immutable identifiers thus likely stems from their desire to shield themselves from privacy risks and harms that may follow them for the rest of their lives.

Students have greater confidence in educational institutions and the government to protect their privacy than they do in technology companies.

A 2016 Gallup poll found that 19 percent of Millennials had "a lot of trust" in the federal government to safeguard their personal data, 18 percent trusted their state governments to do so, and only 4 percent trusted social networking websites or applications to do so. An annual survey conducted by the Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg found that in 2018, for five consecutive years, respondents expressed greater concern about corporations violating their privacy (57 percent) than about governments (52 percent) or other people (47 percent) doing so. More recently, a survey conducted by The Generation Lab in January 2021 found that 51 percent of college/university students believe that major tech companies should be regulated more by the government and 77 percent believe that social media companies have too much power and influence in politics today.Footnote23

A Knight Foundation and Gallup survey reflects this negative view of technology companies, finding that 77 percent of US respondents believe that companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple have "too much power." Only 1 percent thought that technology companies have "too little power." However, compared with older respondents, fewer respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 viewed companies as "creating more problems than they solve." Younger respondents were also more comfortable with technology companies using their personal information: 37 percent reported feeling very uncomfortable with the practice, whereas 40 percent of respondents ages 35 to 54 and 48 percent over the age of 55 stated they were very uncomfortable with companies using their personal information.Footnote24

This disparity of trust in companies compared with the government does not stem from a belief that the government does not collect, or collects less, personal information from citizens. The 2018 Pew survey found that about 60 percent of respondents ages 18 to 29 believe the government tracks their online and cellphone activities and that 30 percent believe the government tracks their offline activities.Footnote25 The difference seems to lie in perceptions of how the governments and companies will use the information, since governments exist to serve people, whereas companies are obligated to their shareholders.

Participants in one study clearly differentiated between their privacy expectations of companies and their privacy expectations of educational institutions. A student stated: "I personally trust schools and universities more than these companies that are for-profit and I trust that they're going to use this information in a way that I feel more comfortable with, that doesn't try to take money out of my pocket."Footnote26 This finding reflects a tendency to trust public institutions more than private companies. However, more surveys are needed that compare how students view their personal information held by their colleges and universities versus information held by the government and private companies.

While students generally trust their institutions, they still have questions about the utility and reliability of the information collected. In a 2016 Australian study of students' attitudes toward learning analytics in higher education, a student wondered about the accuracy of the information collected through the learning management system (LMS): "There's information how long you've been on Blackboard and how [sic] the books you got out. There—there's like a risk of the data not being accurate."Footnote27 This student conveyed a concern that the metrics being measured, specifically time spent on the LMS and books borrowed, do not accurately reflect active learning.

Students are particularly concerned about how their institutions use predictive analytics data to determine future possibilities. A US case study revealed that students were frustrated by learning and early advising management systems that used predictive data to recommend course pathways, because they believed the systems used incomplete or inaccurate data to discourage them from courses or majors that interested them. One student asked: "Who can decide my future beside[s] myself? I would ignore this kind of information." Another stated: "Don't tell me what I can or can't do."Footnote28 However, the same study revealed that students supported predictive analytics that provided opportunity, such as by matching current majors or skills to potential career paths. Most important, students wanted to receive support from trusted faculty or advisors with whom they had a foundation of trust.

ECAR's 2019 survey of US students found that 70 percent expressed confidence in their institution's ability to safeguard their personal data. However, only 45 percent believed they benefited from their institution's privacy and security policies, and only 44 percent reported understanding how their institution used their personal data. A three-part study of UK students' expectations of learning analytics concluded that students feel very strongly that their colleges and universities should safeguard their educational data and that they "want to be reassured that their data are secure and private." The study also found that students expect their institutions to obtain informed consent to use and outsource their identifiable data to third-party companies. This reveals that students' trust does not mean they grant unlimited and unrestricted access. Rather, students expect a higher standard of information privacy and security in return for their trust.Footnote29

Students also voiced concerns about equity and bias, specifically the potential to be treated differently based on certain parties gaining access to their personal information. Another respondent in the Australian study worried: "If a teacher can see your grades they might just pay attention to the one who's getting high grades and not everyone else."Footnote30 Therefore, students expect colleges and universities to ensure equitable outcomes, in addition to exercising transparency and accountability in the collection, use, and disclosure of student information.

Recommendations

Students' perceptions of and attitudes toward data privacy will shape the future architecture and policies that govern the internet. Today's college/university students are living in environments that increasingly require regular interaction with data and technology. Some of these students will soon enter the workforce as software engineers, as tech startup entrepreneurs, as journalists, and in other professions integral to collective privacy conversations. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 71,420 students graduated with degrees in computer and information sciences in 2017, up from 64,402 in 2016 and 59,271 in 2015. In 2017, 381,353 students also graduated with degrees in business, and 93,776 students graduated with degrees in communications, journalism, and related programs.Footnote31 These graduates will bring their attitudes about data privacy to their new careers, and these attitudes will influence the questions they ask and the decisions they make. The following three recommendations can help education and privacy stakeholders develop and shape college/university students' privacy expectations and practices.

#1. Higher education institutions should teach data privacy, ethics, and literacy courses to encourage students to think critically about privacy.

Research demonstrates that students care about privacy, but knowledge of the depth and breadth of their awareness is still lacking. The higher education system must prepare students to fully comprehend the implications of the collection, use, and sharing of their personal information without their knowledge and consent. The US education system was built to develop an informed citizenry able to participate in a democracy. Now more than ever, students need to understand the factors that shape their opinions and influence their decisions. Understanding how data is collected and used, as well as how they can protect their personal information and actively engage with the platforms collecting and the policies governing their data, is a key defense against targeted advertisements and other manipulative techniques.

To keep pace with societal and technological developments and cultivate data-literate citizens, higher education should develop curricula that include instruction on data privacy and ethics. The benefits of this instruction are clear. In an article published in the Stanford Daily, Trisha Kulkarni, an undergraduate student, shared her reflections on taking the course "Computer Science, Ethics, and Policy": "By the end of the class, I was overwhelmed at the details I had overlooked in my daily practices, such as clicking 'accept' without reading a privacy notice or continuously giving an app or website information about my interests in order to customize my experience."Footnote32 Practitioners, scholars, and policymakers should also collaborate to design data ethics curricula.

#2. To foster trust and cooperation, higher education institutions and technology companies should communicate how and why they collect and use students' personal information.

Research reveals that students lack awareness of the data collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure practices of their colleges and universities and are wary of institutions using their information for non-educational purposes. Unless effectively communicated to students and communities, good privacy policies and practices can still result in general mistrust and apprehension. In a recent analysis of US higher education privacy policies,Footnote33 researchers found that policy language often ineffectively conveys how institutions use data. As a result, current policies can cause students to misunderstand their institutions' data practices and limit their ability to engage with, correct, or opt out of those practices.

Higher education institutions should collect and use only the information necessary to fulfill goals related to understanding and improving students' educational outcomes and well-being. Institutions should also convene town halls, organize student advisory boards, hold office hours, and publish clear explanations of how and why they collect and use students' personal information. They should share these policies on institutional websites in plain language that clearly communicates the methods that students can use to review, change, or opt out of data collection. Moreover, because third-party technology companies often mediate data use by higher education organizations, these companies should also provide transparency related to their proprietary systems and the processes, scope, and intent of data collection, analysis, and use. Social media companies should do the same, given that students use their products.

#3. Organizations should release additional findings on students' attitudes toward privacy, and researchers should conduct more studies on specific privacy topics.

To verify and extend the findings we have outlined, researchers and organizations should conduct more studies of students' attitudes about privacy. The field would greatly benefit if Pew, Gallup, and other organizations conducted public opinion polls on privacy concerns, with subgroup data reported by age, including a narrow range for "traditional age" college/university students (18- to 24-year-old students). Rather than attempt to replicate these well-designed surveys, organizations holding the data should consider releasing their information tailored to the target population.

Studies should also be conducted to determine how students' privacy attitudes differ based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, special needs, citizenship status, gender, and other characteristics. Education stakeholders need to better understand which types of personal information students want to protect and from which parties they believe they need protection. Studies could also explore which contexts, sources, and events influence students' attitudes about privacy. Finally, we need to understand how students' attitudes about privacy change over time.

Conclusion

Leaders at higher education institutions increasingly rely on data collected from students to inform decision making, and they employ technology platforms that allow them to collect, analyze, and use vast amounts of this data. As students have become more aware of this ongoing data collection and use, they have begun to express their concerns and desires to limit the use of their data to guide institutional decision making. The conversation about the use and privacy of students' data has just begun, and students' voices need to be privileged in that conversation. Higher education institutions, technology companies, researchers, other interested stakeholders and students can collectively shape the future of data privacy in higher education.

This content is part of the EDUCAUSE showcase series Post-Pandemic Future: Implications for Privacy. In 2021 EDUCAUSE is spotlighting the most urgent issues in higher education through this thematic series. For each topic, we’ve gathered all the tools and resources you need into one place, to help you guide your campus forward. 

Notes

The authors would like to thank the various people who contributed to this article, particularly Larissa Kehne, Preeti Jain, Dr. Carrie N. Klein, and Ashleigh Imus.

  1. Larry Alton, "How Millennials Think Differently About Online Security," Forbes, December 1, 2017. Jump back to footnote 1 in the text.
  2. Aaron Smith and Monica Anderson, Social Media Use in 2018, Pew Research Center, March 1, 2018. Jump back to footnote 2 in the text.
  3. Doug Lederman, "Professors' Slow, Steady Acceptance of Online Learning: A Survey," Inside Higher Ed, October 30, 2019. Jump back to footnote 3 in the text.
  4. For more about our scope, methodology, selection of sources, and limitations, refer to the full report, "Higher Education Voices: College Students' Attitudes Towards Data Privacy," to be published in late February on https://studentprivacycompass.org/. Jump back to footnote 4 in the text.
  5. D. Christopher Brooks, ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, EDUCAUSE (2016), p. 22; John Fleming, Millennials Most Trusting on Safety of Personal Information, Gallup, May 11, 2015; John H. Fleming and Amy Adkins, Data Security: Not a Big Concern for Millennials, Gallup, June 9, 2016; Jeffrey M. Jones, Facebook Users' Privacy Concerns Up Since 2011, Gallup, April 11, 2018. Jump back to footnote 5 in the text.
  6. Susan Athey, Christian Catalini, and Catherine Tucker, The Digital Privacy Paradox: Small Money, Small Costs, Small Talk, NBER Working Paper Series (June 2017), p. 4. Jump back to footnote 6 in the text.
  7. Michael Dowd, Contextualized Concerns: The Online Privacy Attitudes of Young Adults, International Federation for Information Processing, (2011), pp. 79–80. Jump back to footnote 7 in the text.
  8. Libby quoted in Katey Psencik, "How Much Do College Students Care about Online Privacy?," USA Today, May 29, 2013; Andrew Perrin, Americans Are Changing Their Relationship with Facebook, Pew Research Center, September 5, 2018. Jump back to footnote 8 in the text.
  9. Nis Bornoe and Louise Barkhuus, "Privacy Management in a Connected World: Students' Perception of Facebook Privacy Settings," Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2011. Jump back to footnote 9 in the text.
  10. Katherina Glac, Dawn R. Elm, and Kirsten Martin, "Areas of Privacy in Facebook: Expectations and Value," Business & Professional Ethics Journal 33, no. 2/3 (2014); Bornoe and Barkhuus, "Privacy Management in a Connected World." Jump back to footnote 10 in the text.
  11. Julie Beck, "People Are Changing the Way They Use Social Media, The Atlantic, June 7, 2018. Jump back to footnote 11 in the text.
  12. Kaplan, Kaplan Survey: Percentage of College Admissions Officers Who Visit Applicants' Social Media Pages on the Rise Again, January 13, 2020; Kaplan, Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Social Media Checks by College Admissions Officers Decline Due to Savvier Applicants and Shifting Attitudes, November 27, 2018; Alice Marwick, Claire Fontaine, and danah boyd, "Nobody Sees It, Nobody Gets Mad": Social Media, Privacy, and Personal Responsibility among Low-SES Youth," Social Media + Society, May 2017. Jump back to footnote 12 in the text.
  13. boyd quoted in "Teens Are Waging a Privacy War on the Internet: Why Marketers Should Listen," Knowledge @ Wharton, August 5, 2014. Jump back to footnote 13 in the text.
  14. Bornoe and Barkhuus, "Privacy Management in a Connected World." Jump back to footnote 14 in the text.
  15. Simon Parkin, "Gamergate: A Scandal Erupts in the Video-Game Community," New Yorker, October 17, 2014; Aviva quoted in Marwick, Fontaine, and boyd, "Nobody Sees It, Nobody Gets Mad." Jump back to footnote 15 in the text.
  16. Eden Dahlstrom, D. Christopher Brooks, Susan Grajek, and Jamie Reeves, ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2015 (Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE, 2015). Jump back to footnote 16 in the text.
  17. Ibid.; Kyle M. L. Jones et al., "'We're Being Tracked at All Times': Student Perspectives of Their Privacy in Relation to Learning Analytics in Higher Education," Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, April 2020, p. 15. Jump back to footnote 17 in the text.
  18. Dirk Ifenthaler and Clara Schumacher, "Student Perceptions of Privacy Principles for Learning Analytics," Educational Technology Research and Development (2016). Jump back to footnote 18 in the text.
  19. Kayla Picotte, Personal Information in Public Domain: Perceptions of Risk Among College Students on Facebook and the Outside World, master's thesis, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2012, p. 26. Jump back to footnote 19 in the text.
  20. Fang Yang and Shudong Wang, "Students' Perception Toward Personal Information and Privacy Disclosure in E-Learning," Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology (January 2014). Jump back to footnote 20 in the text.
  21. Erica Darragh, "Here's Why I'm Campaigning Against Facial Recognition in Schools," VICE, March 11, 2020. Jump back to footnote 21 in the text.
  22. Kari Paul, "'Ban This Technology': Students Protest US Universities' Use of Facial Recognition," The Guardian, March 2, 2020. Jump back to footnote 22 in the text.
  23. John H. Fleming and Amy Adkins, Data Security: Not a Big Concern for millennials, Gallup, June 6, 2016; 2018 Digital Future Project, Surveying the Digital Future: The 16th Annual Study on the Impact of Digital Technology on Americans, Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg (2018), p. 89; The Generation Lab, Youth Dems and GOP Love Tech and Want It to Stop, January 28, 2021. Jump back to footnote 23 in the text.
  24. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Gallup, Techlash? America's Growing Concern with Major Technology Companies (2020), pp. 13, 5, 19. Jump back to footnote 24 in the text.
  25. Brooke Auxier et al., Americans and Privacy: Concerned, Confused and Feeling Lack of Control over Their Personal Information, Pew Research Center, November 15, 2019. Jump back to footnote 25 in the text.
  26. Jones et al., "'We're Being Tracked at All Times.'" Jump back to footnote 26 in the text.
  27. Lynne D. Roberts, Joel A. Howell, Kristen Seaman, and David C. Gibson, "Student Attitudes toward Learning Analytics in Higher Education: 'The Fitbit Version of the Learning World,'" Frontiers in Psychology (2016). Jump back to footnote 27 in the text.
  28. C. Klein et al., "Student Sensemaking of Learning Analytics Dashboard Interventions in Higher Education," Journal of Educational Technology Systems 48, no. 1 (2019). Jump back to footnote 28 in the text.
  29. Joseph Galanek and Ben Shulman, "Not Sure If They're Invading My Privacy or Just Really Interested in Me," EDUCAUSE Review, December 11, 2019; Alexander Whitelock-Wainwright et al., "The Student Expectations of Learning Analytics Questionnaire," Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 35, no. 5 (October 2019). Jump back to footnote 29 in the text.
  30. Roberts, Howell, Seaman, and Gibson, "Student Attitudes toward Learning Analytics in Higher Education.'" Jump back to footnote 30 in the text.
  31. National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, Digest of Education Statistics, Table 332.10, Bachelor's degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions, by field of study: Selected years, 1970–71 through 2016–17 (August 2018). Jump back to footnote 31 in the text.
  32. Trisha Kulkarni, "Making Privacy Public," Stanford Daily, January 14, 2020. Jump back to footnote 32 in the text.
  33. M. Brown and C. Klein, "Whose Data? Which Rights? Whose Power? A Policy Discourse Analysis of Student Privacy Policy Documents," Journal of Higher Education (2020). Jump back to footnote 33 in the text.

Jasmine A-young Park is a Policy Fellow with the Youth and Education Privacy project at the Future of Privacy Forum.

Amelia Vance is Senior Counsel and Director of the Youth and Education Privacy project at the Future of Privacy Forum.

© 2021 Jasmine A-young Park and Amelia Vance. The text of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 International License.