Keeping students’ personal data private (while still using it to drive success)

Student data privacy is a hot topic across the country right now. As we move into a more computerized age, most private information is located online and readily accessible. Additionally, as schools gain more technological advances, educators use online student data portals more and more to quickly identify at-risk students and plan impactful interventions. Many education experts laud the importance of using data to drive educational achievements as well as the positive impact data has on school operations and improvements.

However, there is much worry about private student data getting into the wrong hands and being used for purposes such as advertising and marketing. There is also concern about what impact a student’s personal data could have on their future endeavors if used inappropriately.  Because of this, many states and education technology companies are taking significant steps to ensure that all students have their personal data securely protected.

California recently enacted a data-privacy law that limits third-party vendors from accessing personal student data. The law ensures that student data cannot be sold. It also creates additional security measures surrounding student data and allows districts to delete data if requested.

Read more about California’s law here:

Louisiana has also recently enacted a student data privacy law. The state was concerned about the possibility of theft occurring, so they took serious steps to ensure that student data is protected. Under the law, schools cannot collect or share student data without parental consent. There are a few potential hazards to this measure, including a loss of federal funds.

Read more about Louisiana’s law here:

Kansas created the Student Privacy Act, which limits what data gets included in student records and limits who the data can be provided to (only parties included in the bill can receive the personal student data). Additionally, use of student data will require consent under this act.

Read more about Kansas’s act here:

These recent pieces of legislation demonstrate the growing concern to keep student data private and the steps that states are willing to take to ensure that personal data remains secure. Longleaf Solutions, an educational technology company that believes data is essential to driving school and student success, also believes that the responsibility of protecting sensitive data should assumed by third party vendors as well. That is why Longleaf, along with many other education technology companies, has signed an official pledge to protect any and all data it receives.

Read more about Longleaf’s pledge to protect personal student data here:

Student data is sensitive and must be kept private, but it is also important to improving school success and driving student achievement. To achieve this balance, education technology companies should guarantee to safeguard the personal student data they receive.

Do you think these laws will provide the necessary protection for students’ personal data? Are they too extreme or not extreme enough? Please share your thoughts below.

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Categories: Data Security and Privacy, Students