Storypark is a registered Canadian company that was originally founded in New Zealand. Our customizable platform supports early childhood education services across Canada and over 30 other countries. We are required to meet a plethora of privacy and safety requirements, and this blog post explores how Storypark specifically fits within the British Columbia context.
Storypark’s commitment to security and privacy
Children are at the heart of everything we do. This includes ensuring their first digital steps are safe ones.
At Storypark, we don’t take this task lightly; our protective measures include daily vulnerability checks and an annual security audit and penetration test. Communication between Storypark’s users and our servers is encrypted via industry-standard Transport Layer Security (TLS).
We treat all children’s information as confidential to the child and their authorized viewers and comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (federal, Canada). We do not sell user data. If a user chooses to delete their data, it will be entirely deleted from the internet following a short grace period for restoring accidental deletions. When creating an account, all parents must sign a consent form which outlines how their child’s information will be used.
The Storypark software itself is developed using secure best practices. All developers are subject to police checks, and every change a developer makes to the code must be reviewed by two additional developers before the change can be published.
Has Storypark always complied with British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act?
Storypark is a sector-leading example of privacy and security in Australasia and is a legitimate option for the Canadian public sector, but a few years ago, we didn’t meet all the requirements of British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Nothing has changed at Storypark; the purpose that drives us as a company means we’ve always been committed to the security of the children we serve. So why is Storypark a legitimate option for B.C. services now when we might not have been a few years ago? The answer to this question requires understanding a few historic changes to the FIPPA.
Pivotal changes to the FIPPA since November 2021
The original issue with Storypark’s compliance was because our servers were hosted in Australia instead of Canada. The FIPPA used to have a strict “only in Canada” policy for storing data, but since November 2021, these restrictions have been amended. This change allows B.C.’s public sector to access the world’s best digital tools without server location determining what they can choose from. And this doesn’t mean loose or risky regulations; this simply means that data location doesn’t automatically exclude a product. The FIPPA ensures overseas servers meet the same requirements for hosting data as any Canadian server.
Storypark is confidently hosted on Amazon Web Services in their Sydney region. We chose Amazon because they are trusted by many of the world’s leading internet companies and are known for their dedication to world-class security and reliability.
So, is Storypark a legitimate option for the public sector in British Columbia?
Yes! Storypark is a fantastic and reliable option for the public sector in B.C. The customer is still required to complete a Privacy Impact Assessment (which we can help you to quickly achieve) when they are a public body in B.C., but as of 25 November 2021, Storypark’s server location no longer stands in the way. Rest assured that Storypark protects and values the rights and safety of children and of the communities around them.
Are B.C. based services already using Storypark?
Absolutely! Storypark is used and trusted by multiple early learning organizations in B.C and across Canada. Preferred supplier to ECEBC and the Canadian Child Care Federation, the majority of Storypark’s customers operate multiple sites utilizing the variety of enterprise-specific tools available in Storypark.
Since October 2021, the Vancouver Society Of Children’s Centres (VSOCC) has been using the Storypark platform as a tool to ensure families are engaged, involved and up-to-date with their child’s experiences. “Through Storypark, families have a greater understanding of their child’s day and learning. At home, Storypark allows families to talk more about their child’s activities and experiences during the day,” says Carrie Grywacheski, Assistant Programme Director at VSOCC.
“In addition, we are able to connect the B.C. Early Learning Framework by tagging Living Inquiries and Pathways in our learning stories. This has really encouraged conversations with families around learning and early childhood practices.”
Where can I learn more?
If you’d like to dive deeper into our security policies, ratings, and specifications, here are some links for further reading.