Laws Pertaining to Student Safety and Data ProtectionFamily Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
The primary goal of COPPA is to place parents in control over what information is collected from their young children online. COPPA was designed to protect children under age 13 while accounting for the dynamic nature of the Internet. The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children, and operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13. The Rule also applies to websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information directly from users of another website or online service directed to children.Public Act 16-189 “Sits on top of” (in addition to) FERPA law and is comprehensive in nature and incorporates several provisions to protect the privacy of student information including
Restricting how student information may be used by entities that contract to provide educational software and electronic storage of student records and by operators of websites, online services, or mobile applications (i.e., apps)
Clarifying that student data collected for school purposes is not owned by any of these third-party contractors
Requiring local boards of education to notify parents when they execute a new contract with a software, data storage, or internet service provider
Stipulating data security and privacy provisions that must figure in all contracts between local school districts and software, data storage, and internet service providers.
Requiring school districts to withhold the release of student directory information if the local or regional board of education determines that a request for such information is not related to school purposes.