S. 877: Protecting Student Privacy Act of 2017

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S. 877: Protecting Student Privacy Act of 2017
Sponsors:
Sen. Ed Markey – MA Sen. Orrin Hatch – UT
Summary:

This bill amends the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974” to take into consideration the protection of student privacy in this 21st century digital age. It prohibits federal funding from being given to any educational agency or institution that does not implement, or require outside parties to implement security policies that protect personally identifiable information.

HSLDA's Position:
Support.
Action Requested:
None at this time
Status:

Introduced: 4/6/2017
Assigned to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Background:

Senators Ed Markey – MA and Orrin Hatch – UT reintroduced the “Protecting Student Privacy Act”. This legislation is intended to safeguard the personally identifiable information and educational records of students in the digital world. Approximately 95 percent of school districts sending student records to companies that manage important necessary school services. However, only seven percent of the same school districts sign contracts that directly prevent the companies from selling students’ data that includes everything from grades, to test scores, attendance records and family relationships. Senators Markey and Hatch’s legislation updates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for the 21st century to ensure that students are better protected in an interconnected world.

The Protecting Student Privacy Act of 2017:
• Requires that data security safeguards be put in place to protect sensitive student data that is held by private companies;
• Prohibits the use of students’ personally identifiable information to advertise or market a product or service;
• Provides parents with the right to access the personal information about their children – and amend that information if it is incorrect – that is held by private companies;
• Makes transparent the names of all outside parties that have access to student information;
• Minimizes the amount of personally identifiable information that is transferred from schools to private companies; and
• Ensures private companies cannot maintain detailed inventories on students in perpetuity by requiring the companies to delete personally identifiable information when the information is no longer used for its specified purpose.

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