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Making Sense of Student Data Privacy

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Making Sense of Student Data Privacy

Student Data Privacy – It’s not often you can find an issue where policy makers, parents, school administrators, technology leaders (aka, CIOs), and vendors all agree that something needs to be done, if not exactly what. For all of the hand-wringing, scare tactics, and misinformation it can be difficult for CIOs to understand what they need to know and do in order to protect the privacy of students and their data. The purpose of this report is to provide a brief overview of student data privacy issues and to suggest some concrete steps that school leaders can take.

It’s important to understand that the privacy of students and data collected about them is not a new issue. There are two Federal laws most often cited regarding privacy. Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) were enacted in 1974 and 1998 respectively. When the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. ED) enacted FERPA no one could have imagined how technology would change in the ensuing four decades. And while COPPA isn’t nearly as old, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) couldn’t have foreseen state longitudinal data systems, cloud services, or mobile apps. While the laws and compliance with them are important, in order to really understand the privacy issue you have to think beyond the laws.

Read the full Making Sense of Student Data Privacy Report.