In the hope of upgrading the security of sensitive student information held by private companies, a bipartisan pair of U.S. senators last week released a draft of a bill that would amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
Among other changes, the proposed Protecting Student Privacy Act of 2014, issued by Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, would mandate new data-security safeguards for private companies; prohibit the use of personally identifiable student information for advertising; and provide parents with the right to access and amend their children’s information.
The proposed revisions to FERPA would also require districts to maintain a record of all the outside companies that have access to student information; promote “data minimization"; and require that all personally identifiable information held by outside parties eventually be destroyed to prevent them from maintaining permanent dossiers on students.
A version of this article appeared in the May 21, 2014 edition of Education Week as U.S. Senators Release Draft of Changes to Privacy Law