The ECNO Vetting of Applications for Security and Privacy (VASP) Service centrally provides professional risk assessments of security and privacy concerns related to educational digital tools and applications on behalf of the 71 participating Ontario K-12 School Boards. In the Fall of 2021, ECNO in collaboration with an OASBO Joint ICT-PIM-SCM committee, launched the VASP service in response to requests from School Boards.
The Vetting of Application Security and Privacy (VASP) team conducts risk assessments centrally for the benefit of all participating boards. The outcome of each assessment is contained in VASP board and educator reports that boards and schools can implement to reduce the risk when using the application. These reports are confidential and are intended to be shared with Ontario school board staff only. Our process for assessing applications is based on our Student Digital Privacy Standard and exemplifies progressive privacy and security protections that align with those endorsed by regulators and experts across North America and the European Union.
Participating School Boards have access to an ever-increasing array of assessments conducted on educational digital tools and applications. Each assessment examines the student information collected, weighing any privacy or security risks, verifying compliance between stated policies/terms and practice, and advising on mitigating strategies where required.
Boards are encouraged to submit requests for the digital tools and applications they would like to be assessed. At the completion of each review, two assessments are produced:
- A School Board report is a technical report to provide centralized IT, curriculum and procurement staff with a risk score and information about the risks the board should consider and any mitigating strategies that can help reduce the identified risks.
- An Educator report provides plain language information for educators and school administrators on how to implement/use the digital tool or application while minimizing risks where possible.
Ultimately, it is up to each Board to assess the identified risks against their risk tolerance, as part of their own digital tool and application assessment and approval process.
Please feel free to reach out to our team. Together, we can build a brighter and tech-savvy future for our schools.