Require that data security safeguards be implemented to protect sensitive student data held by private companies;
Prohibit the use of a student’s personally identifiable information (PII) to advertise or market a product or service;
Give parents the right to access their children's personal information held by private companies, and make changes if the information is incorrect;
Create a list of all outside parties that have access to student information;
Reduce the amount of PII that is transferred between schools and private companies; and
- Bar private companies from keeping detailed inventories on students by requiring those companies to delete PII when it is no longer being used.
What is Senate Bill S. 1322?
Cost of Senate Bill S. 1322
S. 2690 requires school districts to meet new rules for protecting student privacy as a condition of receiving federal education funding. The sale of PII to target advertising to students would be prohibited, and school districts would be mandated to minimize sharing of PII with outside parties.
Remember, PIIs are things like a home address, credit card number, driver's license number, set of fingerprints, or handwriting samples. S. 2690 would also require any company or group receiving such data set up comprehensive security policies.
Parents would also be given the right to see the information that third parties, including for-profit companies, keep on their child. If the information is “inaccurate, misleading or inappropriate for inclusion in the file,” parents have the right to order corrections to be made. The bill also requires companies holding identifiable information about students to destroy it after completing the specific task for which they obtained the information.
S.2690 has found support from both sides of the aisle, including Sponsoring Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). In support of his bill, Sen. Hatch noted:
"Students may well have more of their personal data stored by third parties than anyone, and the widespread storage of this information puts students at risk that this data could fall into the wrong hands. This legislation establishes security safeguards to ensure greater transparency and access to stored information for students and parents. Further, it includes a provision banning data mining for marketing or advertising purposes and other common sense protections for students’ personally identifiable student data."
However, as critics have pointed out, this bill would only apply to student information contained within their education records. Student data outside of education records that are gathered by or shared with private companies would not be covered under this bill. When students take part in online learning, for example, textbook
companies and other vendors collect huge amounts of data, including
information on individual student work habits and learning styles; and such data would remain beyond the reach of S.2690.
Other opponents of the bill feel that it only restates provisions that already exist in current law, making it redundant and unnecessary. For instance, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) already provides guidance and restrictions for when and under what circumstances schools can share a student’s personal information with private companies. Another concern raised by critics is that things like data destruction are not always possible or enforceable in practice.
(Photo Credit: Startup Stock)
Protecting Student Privacy Act of 2015
A bill to amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to ensure that student data handled by private companies is protected, and for other purposes.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The house has not voted
- The senate has not voted
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and PensionsIntroducedMay 13th, 2015
- senate Committees