Most parents and students do not know that under the law as it is now, Directory Information about students can be shared with third parties without parental or student consent. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act determines what kinds of information schools can share with third parties. Although directory information may sound innocuous, it can include information about each student that is quite detailed. Directory information can include:
Schools increasingly provide students with more health services. Health clinics, counselors on site, administration of drugs, and vaccinations are among the types of healthcare offered on school campuses ranging from kindergarten through graduate school. Given that schools may have sensitive health information, what law covers health record privacy for school records? The answer is important. It is also messy, because two laws can apply to this information. In some cases, no privacy law applies to the health records.
President Obama has announced that the White House will propose legislation for educational privacy reform. The administration needs to start with the basics and get FERPA right once and for all, because currently, FERPA is not doing the job it was intended to do. Here’s a backgrounder on this educational privacy cornerstone.
Q: Why is my kid’s email and home address being sold on a marketing list? I didn’t give permission for this information to be released! How did this happen? This kind of sharing could happen unless you proactively opt out of allowing schools to share the information they keep on your kids such as their
Educational Privacy and FERPA — The WPF filed detailed comments on the U.S. Department of Education\’s notice of proposed changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. WPF has concerns that the increased sharing of student information that the proposed rule will allow will diminish student privacy in a significant and permanent way. WPF is urging the DOE to amend its proposed rule to establish increased privacy protections for sensitive student information held in databases and elsewhere.