Cloud Computing, Regulatory Policy and Student Privacy

13 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2014

See all articles by Stephen Mutkoski

Stephen Mutkoski

Microsoft Legal & Corporate Affairs

Date Written: October 10, 2013


Rapid change in the technology landscape has resulted in the introduction of a range of new technologies into the classroom. But unlike the past use of technology in schools, many of these new products and services introduce two new dynamics that school counsel (and the teachers and administrators they support) need to understand fully. First, many of these new products and services are run “in the cloud” by a third party service provider as opposed to on servers operated by the school’s IT staff. This third party operation and control can raise important new regulatory compliance issues, including data protection and data privacy issues, as your school and student data will be handled by a third party. Second, increasingly these products and services are available without monetary payment for teachers to deploy directly in their classrooms. This means that the products or services often won’t go through a more formal procurement process where regulatory compliance and other similar issues would be evaluated. These new cloud products and services are being widely adopted by schools across the country because they lower school costs, increase productivity, and maximize innovation and efficiency. With a renewed partnership between the school’s counsel, teachers, school administrators and school IT staff, those benefits can be reaped without sidestepping important regulatory obligations, such as student privacy.

Keywords: privacy, student, FERPA, COPPA, cloud computing services, education

Suggested Citation

Mutkoski, Stephen, Cloud Computing, Regulatory Policy and Student Privacy (October 10, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Stephen Mutkoski (Contact Author)

Microsoft Legal & Corporate Affairs ( email )

United States

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