Many of us are used to looking to California to lead the way on privacy law. But move over, California, because there’s some really interesting progress being made in Missouri to protect its residents’ and students’ privacy.
Missouri lawmakers are referring to the ballot a constitutional amendment that supporters say will boost electronic privacy protections. The state constitution currently protects Missourians’ “persons, papers, homes and effects” from unreasonable searches and seizures. The proposed constitutional amendment would add their “electronic communications and data” to that. House members approved the measure 114-28 on Friday. It passed the Senate 31-1 last month and will appear on the November ballot unless Gov. Jay Nixon picks a different date.
But that’s not the only big news out of Missouri on privacy. Marie French reports that a student data privacy bill, [HB 1490], also passed the House and Senate and is now on its way to Gov. Nixon’s desk:
The education department currently collects more than 90 pieces of information on each student attending public school in Missouri in order to comply with various federal and state laws. If the bill is approved by Gov. Jay Nixon, the education department would have to develop new policies on data security, access and collection.
Any contracts entered into by the department would also have to contain provisions protecting student data from being sold or used to target advertisements. Guernsey said software and online tools used in schools did not contain protections for student privacy.
“There are companies that are currently mining data without parental consent or knowledge,” Guernsey said. “It’s just the basic principle that everyone has the right to privacy, even kids.”
Read more on St. Louis Post-Disptach.