Ehallpass is a digital hallway pass system designed for use in schools. It allows teachers to grant digital hall passes to students, monitor student movement throughout the school, and track analytics. While it aims to increase efficiency and school safety, Ehallpass has also raised some concerns about student privacy and data collection. This article reviews Ehallpass to examine whether it is legal, safe, and ethical for schools to use.
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Overview of Ehallpass
Ehallpass is a web and mobile app that replaces paper hall passes in schools with digital passes. Teachers can grant pass requests from students directly on their desktop or mobile devices. When a teacher grants a hall pass, the student receives the pass on their device and can then leave the classroom.
Here are some key features of Ehallpass:
- Real-time tracking: Teachers can view all active hall passes and student locations on a map of the school. This allows them to monitor if students are where they are supposed to be.
- Analytics: The system collects data like frequency and length of student passes. This data can be used to identify patterns and make informed decisions about school procedures.
- Custom hall passes: Teachers can create pre-set hall pass types like “Locker”, “Restroom”, “Office” etc. This saves time compared to writing handwritten passes.
- Student interface: Students request passes through the Ehallpass app on their device. They can see when passes are approved and get reminders to return to class.
Ehallpass integrates with school district SIS systems like Infinite Campus. It is designed as a freemium model, with a limited free version and paid premium version with more features.
Is Ehallpass Legal for Schools to Use?
Ehallpass terms of service require consent from parents/guardians before students can use the system. As long as the school district properly informs parents and obtains consent, it is legal for them to use Ehallpass.
The app collects student data like names, class schedules, locations etc. As long as the school district follows state and federal student privacy laws like FERPA, they can legally use student data collected by Ehallpass. Districts must also have procedures in place for handling student data per COPPA regulations.
Ehallpass states that all data is encrypted and stored securely on Amazon Web Services servers. Overall, as long as proper consent procedures and privacy laws are followed, schools can legally use Ehallpass.
Privacy Concerns Around Ehallpass
While Ehallpass is legal with proper consent, many parents and advocacy groups have raised concerns about student privacy.
Some of the main concerns include:
- Data collection: Ehallpass collects a significant amount of student data like classroom behavior, movement, bathroom usage, etc. There are concerns about the amount of data being collected, especially for minors.
- Data security: Any collection of student data raises security concerns, as student data is highly sensitive. Schools must ensure Ehallpass has proper encryption and security to prevent breaches or misuse of data.
- Informed consent: Privacy advocates argue that parents are often not given enough information about Ehallpass data collection practices to provide meaningful informed consent.
- Access: There are concerns that Ehallpass grants school administrators access to detailed student data that can potentially be misused for disciplinary purposes rather than safety.
- Oversight: continuous monitoring of students also raises oversight issues. Parents have limited control over how the collected data is accessed and used by the school district.
While Ehallpass states it protects student privacy, many argue schools should carefully weigh the need for these systems vs students privacy rights.
Potential Benefits of Ehallpass
Despite privacy concerns, school administrators argue Ehallpass provides benefits that improve school safety and environment:
- Increased security: Real-time tracking of student locations allows quick response to any security issues. Digital passes reduce unauthorized hall wandering.
- Operational efficiency: Digital passes reduce time spent requesting, filling, and tracking paper passes. Data can help optimize school procedures.
- Public health: RESTROOM monitoring can identify maintenance issues. Cough and cold data can help limit spread of illness when integrated with nurse logs.
- Discipline: Data around tardiness or unauthorized locations can improve student accountability and discipline.
- Engagement: Students often respond better to technology tools compared to paper passes. Digital passes are more interactive.
School leaders wanting to balance privacy with safety argue features like location tracking or RESTROOM monitoring can be disabled in the system. Overall benefits depend greatly on how system data is used by each school.
Best Practices for Implementation
If schools decide to use Ehallpass after carefully weighing benefits and privacy concerns, there are some best practices they can follow:
- Conduct thorough due diligence into security, privacy policies, and user agreement before adopting.
- Limit data collection only to what is needed for basic hall pass functionality. Avoid extraneous data collection.
- Inform parents thoroughly on how Ehallpass works, what data is collected, and how it will be used. Get explicit opt-in consent.
- Provide parents access to their children’s Ehallpass data upon request. Conduct periodic audits of data access.
- Create and communicate clear policies on who can access data in the school and how it can be used. Restrict access to only those who need it.
- Appoint a privacy officer to oversee Ehallpass use, enforce policies, and respond to parent concerns.
- Monitor latest developments in student privacy laws and adjust E-hallpass practices accordingly.
- Be ready to disable features like geotracking or analytics if concerns arise about misuse. Focus only on what improves safety.
Ehallpass provides a convenient digital alternative to paper hall passes in schools. However, it also raises valid student privacy concerns around extensive data collection and tracking. Schools can legally use E-hallpass if they follow privacy laws and get informed consent. But they should carefully weigh the benefits against potential student privacy risks. If adopting E-hallpass, schools should follow best practices like limited data collection, strong policies, and parent access. With the right policies and oversight, schools can work to balance privacy and safety when using hall pass technology.
Is Ehallpass free for schools to use?
No, E-hallpass uses a freemium pricing model. Basic functionality is free but more advanced features require a paid subscription plan based on number of students.
What student data does Ehallpass collect?
E-hallpass can collect student names, grade levels, class schedules, teacher names, hall pass types, time out of class, hall pass frequency, location when passes are used, and analytics based on this data.
Can parents opt out of Ehallpass at their child’s school?
Yes, E-hallpass requires parental consent. Parents should be able to opt out of the system for their child. But school policies differ so parents should check with their district.
Does Ehallpass record student bathroom usage?
Potentially yes. If RESTROOM passes are set up in the system, it can monitor student visits to the RESTROOM. But this feature can be disabled.
Who owns the data collected by Ehallpass?
The school district owns the student data, not E-hallpass. But parents have limited control over how school districts use or share the data once collected.
Can students fake Ehallpass location data?
There is potential for location spoofing. But E-hallpass uses GPS and wifi data to authenticate locations. Faking data would violate school policies.
Does Ehallpass record classroom behavioral data?
Not directly. But some data like hall pass frequency, tardiness etc. could potentially be used to infer classroom behavior patterns.
What happens to student Ehallpass data after graduation?
E-hallpass states that all student data is deleted shortly after graduation when no longer needed by the school district. Districts may have different data retention policies.
Can teachers see real-time student locations outside their class?
By default, teachers can only see real-time locations for students who have passes from their own classes. Administrators have broader access. But this can be restricted.
Does Ehallpass integrate with school surveillance cameras?
Not directly. But school cameras could potentially be used to cross-reference student locations validated by E-hallpass. This depends on school district policies.
Table Comparing Ehallpass Free and Paid Plans
|Digital hall passes||Yes||Yes|
|Custom hall pass types||2||Unlimited|
|Support||Priority email, chat|
|Per student pricing||–||$1/month|