Blog Profile / funnymonkey

Filed Under:Education / Learning
Posts on Regator:163
Posts / Week:0.4
Archived Since:March 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Ransomware Focused on K12 and Government

While ransomware attacks have been on the rise, education has seen (fortunately) few attacks. However, as reported in Softpedia, that could be changing. The focus on educational and government users attempts to take advantage of (among...Show More Summary

Students, Directory Information, and Social Media - Part 2

Last week, I put out a post on social media and kids. Apparently, it was read by more than a couple people. I don't keep track of pageviews or reach here - I have no analytics running on this blog, and while I will talk with people on...Show More Summary

Students and Social Media

Introductory note: In this post, I reference hashtags and tweets I have seen that compromise student privacy. Ordinarily, I would link to the hashtags or tweets, and/or post obscured screenshots. In this post, I am doing neither because I do not want to further compromise the privacy of the people in the examples I have seen. Show More Summary

Some Observations on Kahoot!

NOTE, from July 1, 2016: Kahoot! updated their app, and their privacy policies. The issues flagged in this post have all been addressed. Also worth noting: their turnaround time in addressing these issues was incredibly fast. For what it's worth, I'm impressed by both the speed and the quality of the response. Show More Summary

Building Consensus for Privacy and Security

I had the pleasure to present at ATLIS on April 19, 2016, in Atlanta. The conversation covered different facets of privacy, and how to evaluate the different attitudes toward privacy and security in schools. One element in the conversation that we sped over involved some simple browser-based tools that highlight third party trackers. Show More Summary

Targeted Ads Compromising Privacy in Healthcare

For a current example of how and why privacy matters, we need look no further than the practices of a company that uses "mobile geo fencing and IP targeting services" to target people with ads. In this specific case, the company is targeting ads to women inside Planned Parenthood clinics with anti-choice materials. Show More Summary

Tracking the Trackers

Third party trackers are tools that companies use to track us as we navigate through the web. While most of us don't pay much attention to trackers, they are present on many of the sites we visit. They collect information about our online...Show More Summary

Rostering, Provisioning, Owning Your Stack, and Transparency: a Look at Lewis Palmer

Through the continuing wonderful work over at, I read about an odd situation in Lewis Palmer School District 38. The details are still unfolding, but based on the article on and the original report in Complete Colorado, there are a few layers at play here. Show More Summary

Amazon Inspire, Open Educational Resources, and Copywrong

On Monday, June 27th, Amazon announced Inspire, another free lesson sharing site. What made this effort interesting is, of course, the context: Amazon knows marketplaces, and Amazon knows text distribution. This effort is also part of the Federal Department of Education's "Go Open" work, where Amazon was an early partner. Show More Summary

Civil Rights Complaint Filed Against Portland Public Schools

UPDATE - July 6: According to Willamette Week, Paul Anthony met with Carole Smith on January 26, 2016, and documented the core findings that drove his civil rights complaint. He filed his complaint on May 26, 2016. Between January and...Show More Summary

Concrete Steps to Take to Minimize Risk While Playing Pokemon GO

The launch of Pokemon GO highlights various privacy, security, safety, and privilege concerns with how we use and access tech. While these concerns existed prior to Pokemon GO, and will continue to exist long afterwards, this provides...Show More Summary

Advertising and Rape Threats

On the same day that Donald Trump gets a safe space carved out for him on Reddit, Jessica Valenti's five year old child receives a death and rape threat. We have people claiming they can predict crime. We have companies marketing their prowess at using predictive analytics to support policing. Show More Summary

Can 2017 Be the Year Of the Feature Freeze?

Yesterday, the Intercept published an article on a project led by Peiter and Sarah Zatko, the founders of the Cyber Independent Testing Lab. The lab has developed a testing protocol to evaluate the potential for security issues within software. Show More Summary

Apple's Plan For Managing COPPA Consent Has A Couple Problems

For schools running programs using Apple hardware, Apple has set up a guide to streamline the process of creating an Apple ID for each student. This guide includes a section on creating accounts for students under the age of 13:

Wherefore Art Thou, Google Apps For Edu Terms of Service?

Trying to find Google's Apps for Education Terms of Service page is akin to spending a weekend unicorn hunting while quaffing cocktails from the Holy Grail.

Notes from the Privacy Presentation at the Portland EdTech Meetup

Last night, I had the opportunity to present on privacy issues in educational technology to the Portland EdTech meetup. We had about 45 minutes to talk, which let us scratch the surface. We also had a good mix of vendors, people from higher ed, and people from K12. I'd love to see parents and (gasp) students in the mix at future events.

More Privacy, All the Time

As is very obvious to the three regular readers of the FunnyMonkey blog, we care about privacy. Our work around privacy comes directly from our belief that learner agency and learner control are both essential elements in education, and frequently ignored elements of our educational process. Show More Summary

Avoidable Privacy Snafus: Multiple Sets of Terms for the Same Service

If you are building and selling an EdTech product, you can benefit from having people on the sales and marketing teams go through the user-facing interface of your product. As part of this process, you should also have members of these teams read through your terms of service and privacy policies.

Putting Policies On GitHub

Over the last few years, we have been looking at ways in which privacy policies and data stewardship can be improved. Over that time, one of the issues we have encountered repeatedly is that it is difficult to track how and why policies change over time. Show More Summary

Things I Can't Believe I Need To Say: Yes, Doxxing is Bad

In the recent days, people have attempted to justify doxxing. Ironically, a person was doxxed in the name of student privacy. I didn't think that it would be necessary - in the education space - to have a conversation about why doxxing is a very bad idea, but here we are. I left the text below as a comment but I wanted to post this here as well so I have a copy.

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