4 Myths Surrounding the Student Data Debate

Understanding the laws that are in place to protect student data, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), is essential if we are going to have an educated, productive conversation about student privacy. Here are four myths educators must be aware of so they know how to address the concerns as they arise:

  1. Vendors are free to use student data for commercial purposes
    “FERPA specifically states that a vendor contracted for a specific purpose can only use data collected for that purpose. It cannot legally be sold for marketing or any other purposes.” (contrary to our last student data summary, via Politico) In fact, the US Department of Education even gives guidelines on how to destroy the data.
  2. Student data collection will result in a federal database
    Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA), passed last week, prevents the creation of a federal database.
  3. The Bush or Obama administrations weakened FERPA
    They didn’t do anything to make it worse, but they didn’t exactly do anything to make it better.
  4. States are stuck with what FERPA and COPPA say
    These rules are merely a foundation upon which states can build as they see fit.

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Yvonne Chan

Yvonne Chan

Yvonne is a writer for Edtech Times who is most interested in technology's role in culture. When she is not combing the web for the latest in educational technology, she is reading classic literature or watching the game on TV. You may know her from Gradeable, Boston.com, Emerson College, Busa Wine & Spirits, UMass Dartmouth, or Burlington High School.