Students, parents, teachers and others worried about protecting student privacy have a relentless advocate in Amelia Vance.
Vance, who connected states and districts to student privacy resources for the last three years, has jumped to a new role at the Future of Privacy Forum. She will serve as policy counsel for FPF, and her work will involve student privacy for K-12 and higher education stakeholders, as well as education technology initiatives. The FPF announced her new position today.
She most recently served as director of the Education Data & Technology Project at the National Association of State Boards of Education, where she tracked and issued reports on state and federal legislation around data privacy. She also provided technical assistance to more than 30 states as well as guidance to policymakers on the complexities of student privacy law, which vary by state.
“In many ways, my work at FPF will be a continuation of my NASBE work: I will continue writing and offering technical assistance, as well as conducting original student privacy research and analyses,” Vance wrote to EdScoop in an email.
“At FPF, I’ll be able to do more to help policymakers and practitioners at all levels, as well as working more closely with the ed tech industry. I’ll also be doing much more work on higher education, which I’m very excited about.”
During her time at NASBE, she penned op-eds, short pieces and longer reports on “Policymaking on Education Data Privacy: Lessons Learned” and “School Surveillance: The Consequences for Equity and Privacy.”
Jules Polonetsky, CEO of FPF, praised Vance for her diligence and attention to the controversial issue.
“Technology and data, if used with respect for students, teachers, and parents has great potential to advance learning,” said Polonetsky. “In her previous position, Amelia helped chart best practices for student data and we are excited to have her shape FPF’s activities going forward.”
Vance said she will focus on the transition to the new federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, as well as the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, since both laws require additional data collection by schools, “and it is essential that the data is protected and used safely,” she wrote.
She added that the best part about her time at NASBE, which she will continue to bring to her new role, has been connecting people with the resources that are often hard to find.
“I loved helping states and districts know that they weren’t in this alone, that there is a community of people trying to find the best way to balance the important use of data in education with keeping that data private and secure.”