Bringing technology into the classroom is no easy task. In addition to evaluating the effectiveness of programs and services, schools also must ensure that student data privacy is protected. A comprehensive compliance program establishes the policies and processes you need to support that work. If you’re not sure how to build your school compliance program, read on for some tips to help you get started. With thanks to Hobsons for the venue to post. Read More.
- Experience matters: It’s not uncommon to see policies missing key ingredients, or with information that – while accurate – reflects practices that aren’t compliant. If you’re not equipped to write the policy yourself, work with someone who is fluent in applicable federal and state regulation, self-regulation and your industry norms. All areas of expertise are important. You’ll want someone who can put all the required elements into the policy and help you address any practices that step outside the lines.
- Look ahead: Consider not only what you’re doing now, but what you might do in the future so that you can avoid rewriting the policy with every product change. Are there features on your roadmap that have implications for data handling practices? Planning to run a promotion in the next few months? It’s OK to craft the policies around these now, as long as the end results accurately explain what you will do in the future.
- Stay informed: Your policy may be complete, but the work isn’t done. Industry is always moving forward. Your business and products will evolve over time, and regulatory changes are on the horizon as well. Know what’s coming next and be sure that your policies and practices remain accurate and up-to-date.
I am often asked how I got into this line of work. I suppose the simple answer is that finding the pathway to operating a business responsibly and successfully is a challenge I find worthwhile and rewarding.
Developing and marketing products for children and teenagers requires that companies take on special responsibilities to protect the very consumers that they are trying to reach. Children are growing up with tablets and smart phones, and can operate their devices better than most adults. But they are still children, and their “expertise” with technology doesn’t mean that they are able to process marketing techniques and messages, or surf safely across the Internet.
The audience is vulnerable in a number of ways, with cognitive, emotional, social and other areas of development and maturity that haven’t reached levels where they can truly navigate content and commercial material with eyes wide open. The comprehension, critical thinking skills and skepticism available to adults isn’t yet within reach of the young consumer. Responsible industry participants appreciate this and work within that framework, ensuring that young consumers don’t have reason to call on skills that they simply don’t have.
For these reasons and more, the media and marketing industries are a veritable alphabet soup of regulation and self-regulation. FCC, FTC, DOE, CTA, COPPA, FERPA, PPRA, CARU, CFBAI, MPAA, ESRB, MMA – these are just some of the bodies you need to be familiar with in order to do business in the space. And then there are additional societal concerns, advocacy issues, and each company’s core mission and values which further inform the work and business norms. Compliance is about putting this all together, creating the practices and guiding principles through which companies can be responsible, effective and successful.
When done well, compliance encourages creativity, partnership and cohesiveness around an organization’s mission. It helps drive the business forward to achieve goals while serving the consumer. Helping companies embrace the responsibilities that they have to consumers – playing well – is what I do. And when doing what is right and doing what is effective are aligned, everyone wins.