How GDPR is Changing Online Education

Nov 6, 2018 by

In the digital age, data has become a goldmine. Businesses and organizations globally use it as a way of understanding who their customers are, what they need and how they behave.

Over the years, however, consumers have complained about data breaches or what they feel is an invasion of privacy. This has made data laws a lot more stringent. It has also affected the way organizations approach data collection, use, and storage.

With the introduction of recent General Data Protection Regulation, you may be wondering what it means and what you need to do. The following article is going to explore how it’s changing online education specifically.

Student Consent

One of the first ways how GDPR is changing online education is regarding admissions. If institutions are closely following the compliance checklist, they will need to find a way to let users and prospective students based in the EU know that their data is going to be processed and stored. They will also have to let users know how they will use their data.

With the new regulation, users have the right to be forgotten. There will also need to be an option for users to opt out. This means that they can withdraw consent and request that their data be deleted at any point. This choice must be respected. 

Adaptive Learning

Another critical way that GDPR is changing online education is through adaptive learning. Computer algorithms are used to deliver customized resources and learning activities. Therefore, specific data will be collected to help address the unique needs of every learner. In light of this, consent would have to be taken from each EU based learner. They would need to know, and consent to, how their data is being used.

Staff Compliance

Before the GDPR, it’s possible staff in learning institutions had little knowledge regarding data. Since the emergence of GDPR, every employee needs to be aware of how to mitigate the risk of data breaches and ensure compliance. This could mean that employees would need to engage in GDPR training on platforms like This way, they will understand the measures that have to be taken and how to collect and store data in a way that complies with the regulation.

Managing of Student Records

Another way that GDPR is changing online education is how student records are maintained. Additionally, learners can request their data in an electronic format and transfer it if they want to. As a result, institutions would have to pay a lot more attention to the kind of information they collect and store for students based in the EU because there’s an emphasis on minimizing information. It can be complex because reducing the data they collect could mean customizing the software or technology they’re using so that it filters the information taken.

The General Data Protection Regulation is beneficial for online users because it enforces customer consent. However, it can affect online education in numerous ways, such as how information for students or staff is collected, stored, and used. Overall, the regulation changes online education because it puts the privacy of students first.

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