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The only educational interoperability data standard with privacy controls ‘baked in’…

Thursday, May 30, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Penny Murray
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Washington, DC, 30 May, 2019 ---The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, previously the SIF Association, is proud to announce the release of the SIF Infrastructure Implementation Specification 3.3, supporting greater privacy and security controls including the work of the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) and designed to support API development and standardization. 

Schools, administration officials, classroom teachers and education authorities are faced with an overwhelming array of applications to assist in a student’s learning, school administrative functions and community communication tools. Data may travel from inhouse on premises, highly trusted sources to external applications which may not be as trusted. A paper or digital contract is the only primitive protection for this data exchange.  The SIF Infrastructure Implementation Specification 3.3 sees the introduction of the Global Education Privacy Standard (GEPS) to assist in this key area.  GEPS, is a PK-20 global set of data privacy obligations that can be aligned to contractual clauses as well as technical control benchmarks. GEPS includes open XML code (Privacy Obligation Documents or PODs) to transfer privacy obligations between controllers and processors to bridge the gap in understand of education data protection expectations.  GEPS allows for organizations to choose the SDPC standard suggestions or use other existing standards, (i.e. IEEE, NIST, ISO, etc.) to set their own expectations between vendors and customers on managing student data.

“Through the great collaborative work of the A4L Community in Australia, North America and New Zealand, this SIF Infrastructure Implementation Specification 3.3 release includes support for implementing Privacy Obligation Documents (PODs) via the Data Protection Enforcer Service.  It provides a powerful way forward for organizations exchanging data to help ensure only the right data moves to the right place” says Anthony Yaremenko, Projects Lead, National Schools Interoperability Program (NSIP) and Co-Lead, A4L Data Privacy Task Force.  “Privacy conscious organizations can leverage this new functionality to turn paper contracts into digital PODs and the A4L Data Privacy Task Force is excited to work with early adopters and ensure the PODs and Enforcement service are fit-for-purpose in the wild. The Task Force are now setting their sights on Personal Privacy Obligations Documents (PPODs).”

I am proud of the work the Community has undertaken to bring this new release to the marketplace” states Larry Fruth II, PhD, CEO/Exec Director, A4L Community.  “With increased performance ‘on the wire’ at all scales, this release enables ease of usage and a wider availability of tools to enable interoperability, making it a significant release for the educational marketplace.  The Community is also developing ‘use case’ blueprints with other technical standards so vendors can expect that the data exchange standard they build today will be used tomorrow, alongside easy maturation from existing Specifications to a more powerful infrastructure.  It is a powerful, upgraded standard for data exchange, ensuring student data privacy, that we know will make a great difference to end users and vendors alike.”

To find out more about the SIF Infrastructure Implementation Specification 3.3, please go to:




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About the Access 4 Learning Community

There is no other global community made up of educational policymakers, marketplace product and service providers and the customers they serve, collaborating daily to address real word learning information and resource issues. 

The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, previously the SIF Association, is a unique, non-profit collaboration composed of schools, districts, local authorities, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants who collectively address all aspects of learning information management and access to support learning.  The A4L Community is “Powered by SIF” Specifications as its major technical tool to allow for this management and access simply, securely and in a scalable, standard way regardless of the platform hosting those applications. The Access 4 Learning Community has united these education technology end users and providers in an unprecedented effort to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach. For further information, visit


About the Student Data Privacy Consortium

The Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) is designed to address the day-to-day, real-world multi-faceted issues that schools, states, territories and vendors face when protecting learner information. SDPC’s vision is to develop common activities, artifacts, templates, tools and effective practices that can be leveraged through a unique collaborative of end users and marketplace providers working together.  For further information, visit

  • SIF Association (dba Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community)

  • PO Box 1024, New Albany, Ohio 43054-1024

  • Phone: +1.202.621.0547