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suits would require some proof that the damage or illness alleged was caused by a violation of a duty of care. Even weak legal claims could be expensive to defend. The guidelines from public health authori- ties (federal, state, and local) as well as instructions from the school district must be followed and have essentially become the “standard of care” that an entity that transports students should follow to help shield it from liability and allegations of wrongdoing in these uncertain times. Technology may be a valuable tool in helping to not only meet the standard of care required but also create proof that a provider did so. However, the failure to properly train personnel to utilize such technology, or a failure to use the technology properly or to enter required data, could lead to new claims for negligent training, failure to supervise, and other liabilities. Student transportation provid- ers who use technology to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 could also trigger claims or regulatory ac- tions based on theories such as invasion of privacy and wrongful disclosure of sensitive information. Safeguarding Student Data—Cybersecurity As with any technologies that create and record data about users, school bus technologies raise data priva- cy and cybersecurity issues and the need for compre


hensive agreements with vendors for indemnifica- tion. Separate from a security breach, transportation providers must be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and handling data that they collect. Cy- bersecurity is the protection of computer systems, de- vices and networks from the theft of or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. A cyberattack exposes sensitive customer data and personally identifiable information (PII) can put vehicles and passengers in jeopardy, damage assets or commercial advantage, and incur legal troubles. When buying technology and software that collects and stores student data, student transporters should vet their vendors to ensure they have acceptable security measures in place to comply with all applicable data privacy laws, including state privacy and data breach laws. They should also ensure that, if there is a data breach, they will be held harmless for any damages. This is something that may be negotiated as part of a contract. To further manage cybersecurity risks and avoid lawsuits, student transportation companies should know what data the technology collects, the measures in place to protect it, and how the data will be used.


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