News Release: New WPF guide — what privacy laws apply to sensitive health information at schools?


February 12, 2015

San Diego — What should a parent or adult student do when a school asks for sensitive health information? What happens when a school offers a health clinic for treatment? What protects all of the sensitive health information at schools? This issue has been on the WPF radar lately because of parents’ questions about requests for measles vaccination information. To address this issue, we have published a brief guide for parents and students about what law applies when, and what rights the different laws give parents and students.

School health privacy can be quite messy. In some private schools, no health privacy law may apply at all. In other situations, the student privacy law, FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) applies, and in others, the better-known HIPAA health privacy rule applies.

Student Privacy 101: Health Privacy in Schools –What law applies? is the new guide. This guide covers the basics of what laws apply, when, and where, and walks through the key exemptions to the rule that are good to know about as well as key rights. The guide is available online at:

Health Privacy in Schools –What law applies? is the third article in a series of articles about school privacy.  The full series is available here: Student Privacy 101 Series : 


World Privacy Forum

Pam Dixon 760-712-4281


About the World Privacy Forum 

The World Privacy Forum is a nonprofit, non-partisan 501(C)(3) public interest research group. The World Privacy Forum is dedicated to reimagining privacy in a digital era through groundbreaking, in-depth privacy research, analysis, and consumer education of the highest quality. It’s vision is to empower people with the knowledge, rights, and tools they need to protect their privacy and shape their digital lives. The World Privacy Forum has published substantial and respected privacy studies and research, has testified before Congress and federal agencies, and is frequently quoted in the press. WPF is based in San Diego, California.