Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Technology tools and apps are making it possible for educators and students to collaborate, create, and share ideas more easily than ever. When schools use technology, students’ data including some personal information is collected both by educators and often the companies that provide apps and online services. Educators use some of this data to inform their instructional practice and get to know their students better. It is just as essential for educators to protect their students as it is to help them learn. (Kerry Gallagher, 2021)
FERPA – Information in a student’s education record is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law enacted in 1974 that guarantees that parents have access to their child’s education record and restricts who can access and use student information (Kerry Gallagher, 2021)
FERPA protects the access to and sharing of a student’s education record, which is all information related to a particular student as part of his or her education. For more information please see:
COPPA – The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) controls what information is collected from young children by companies operating websites, games, and mobile applications directed toward children under 13 (Kerry Gallagher, 2021).
PPRA – The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) outlines restrictions for the process when students might be asked for information as part of federally funded surveys or evaluations (Kerry Gallagher, 2021).
The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy believes that the following five principles should be incorporated in any law or policy regarding the protection of personal student data in grades PreK-12.
After students reach age 18, all these rights, including those related to notification and consent, should devolve to them:
2. No commercial use
3. No advertising allowed on instructional software and websites assigned to the student by their school
4. Security protections; password protection
5. Parental and student rights, no outside vendors contacting students without a parent unless they are or older
6. Enforcement of these rules are broken