Five things to know about LENA and privacy

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Today is Data Privacy Day, and we’d like to take the opportunity to tell you more about how we protect the privacy of our customers, program participants, and users:

  1. Our company meets the highest industry standards for data protection. We have a robust, comprehensive Information Security Plan in place to ensure that our people, processes, and technology are secure. But you don’t have to take our word for it — to prove that we are secure, we also maintain Type II SOC 2 compliance, which requires an annual security audit by a third party. Many experts consider this to be the best audit of a company’s ability to handle and secure confidential data. Learn more. 
  2. We will work with your organization to ensure we’re meeting your security standards. We partner with many different organizations to implement LENA programs. Many of these partners — like school districts, hospitals, and government agencies — have high standards of data protection. Our Information Security team will work with you to ensure we’re providing the level of data protection that your organization requires.  
  3. We store data securely. All data collected by LENA technology are stored in a secure datacenter compliant with appropriate industry audit standards. Our databases and all communications with our servers are encrypted. Access to the data is strictly controlled ensuring only those that need access have it. We utilize sophisticated network monitoring software that alerts us if there is suspicious behavior enabling us to take proactive measures if needed.  
  4. LENA technology does not understand the meaning of words. After a full day of talk is captured by the LENA device, the audio files are transferred to a cloud processing system that uses complex algorithms to analyze the audio file. The algorithms are trained to identify and differentiate adult speech, child speech, and TV/electronic noise. The software does this without knowing any words or the language being spoken. It only looks at the sound frequencies and the spaces between sounds to determine whether noise is human speech or something else. Learn more. 
  5. No one can ever listen to the audio. In LENA Start, LENA Grow, and LENA Home, audio recordings are automatically deleted after processing into data. Only statistical information about language environment variables is stored. This statistical information is metadata on things like numbers of words and numbers of conversations.

Vince Swartout

Vince Swartout is the Chief Information & Operations Officer for LENA following his real passions - creating solutions and managing teams that help LENA scale and reach as many children as possible.

2 Comments on “Five things to know about LENA and privacy”

  1. Hi!
    I wonder if you have any updates on how we can use LENA SP in Europe, considering GDPR. Is there any center so far in Europe who have bought LENA SP?, and in that case, is it possible to share contact information to those centers? I want to upgrade, but have not done this because of GDPR, and it would be great to have more information on the subject.

    Best regards

    Ulrika Löfkvist, PI, Words make a difference, Karolinska Institute and University of Oslo.

    1. LENA has worked with several customers, both those located within the EU and those doing business within the EU, to find solutions. LENA maintains SOC 2 Type II compliance which addresses many of the procedural and technical protections GDPR requires. LENA also maintains an Information Security Policy and a Privacy Policy, along with the corresponding business and IT processes, that also address GDPR requirements. I have asked Kate Pistone to follow up with you. I have high confidence that we can address your security needs.

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