This presentation addresses privacy-, data protection-, and ethics-by-design as a key frame of reference that can support further critical research and reflection, and inform more critically grounded digital education practice. Against a context of increasing public privacy concern, cybersecurity, and political and institutional interrogation of the economics of big data and surveillance capitalism, the critical research practices associated with privacy-by-design will be an important part of future learning technologies.
The presentation is based upon the experiences of the Developing Careers through Social Networks and Transversal Competencies research project (DEVELOP – http://www.develop-project.eu/). The aim of the H2020-funded DEVELOP project was to deliver an adaptive online learning environment for use in in medium and large companies. This platform would dynamically tailor the exploration, comprehension, and planning of learning opportunities and career paths for employees. It aids employee learning through reflection on transversal competencies and social capital, as key enablers of career development, and assists personnel development professionals in discovering optimum ways to unite company’s strategy and business goals with the employee’s potentials, career perspectives, and desires.
One of the key goals of the DEVELOP project, and Trilateral Research’s core contribution, was to explore ways to build in privacy and ethics considerations from the start of the design process, explore ways to communicate and negotiate such needs with technology designers, and develop best practices for privacy- and ethics-by- design for technology enhanced learning platforms, particularly in the context of the GDPR. During our work on this project we have identified key ethical and privacy risks associated with the way that data on the use of the system, and the personal data of learners that can be collected, as well as the important influence of the context of use on the ethical and privacy issues. Further, DEVELOP has led to significant advances in the way that privacy and ethics can be procedurally and practically taken into account in the context of agile software development processes. These approaches had informed the design of a the DEVELOP learning platform, which is currently being trialed in two international software companies. The presentation will show how privacy and ethical decision making is pervasive throughout a software design and development process, and reflect upon how these approaches can transition from a research environment to a commercial one.
Participants will learn about these cutting edge approaches to privacy-by-design as applied in a learning technology context. Trilateral has developed open-source guidance on best-practices for privacy and ethical design in teaching and learning platforms (including conducting a GDPR complient Data Protection Impact Assessment, and guidance for those purchasing or commissioning learning technologies), and will explore these with attendees. We’ll also share our practical experience (and war stories) of what worked (and what didn’t) in trying to design learning platforms that actually take privacy into account.