Jan 292020
 January 29, 2020  Posted by  Featured News, U.S., Youth & Schools

There’s something to shout about,  as Sheila Kaplan’s updated Twitter profile suggests.  Her profile now reads:

I’ve officially reached my goal of restricting disclosure of student contact info, DOB, birthplace & other PII w/w out consent in NYS. NYS did it via CPO & regs

The newest development is that the state has now adopted regulations that strengthen protections for data that used to have less protection because it was considered “directory information” under FERPA.  As “directory information,” the obligation was on parents to opt their child OUT of sharing of that information.

Yesterday, Sheila announced the big news because it seems that neither the legislature nor the Board of Regents issued any press release:

“Data Privacy Day 2020: NYSED adopt AMENDMENT TO REGULATIONS OF COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION Pursuant to Education Law sections 2-d, 101, 207, 305 a new Part 121: Defines PII; prohibit PII commercial/marketing use; sets forth 3rd party requirements. De facto directory information ban”

She also tweeted:

“Happy Data Privacy Day NY Families: Student PII classified as ‘directory information’ & public under FERPA now non-existent under NY Education Law. NY strengthens protection of students; prohibits commercial use of all PII. Thx @NYSEDNews CPO Akinyemi. NY leads nation; win 4kids”

So great kudos to the NYS Education Department and Board of Regents for providing more protection for student data that would otherwise be too readily available to anyone and everyone.

And while we are distributing kudos, one huge kudo to my friend Sheila, who has worked on this issue of protecting student data that was considered “directory information” for more than 13 years now. I know a bunch of other people will probably raise their hands to  pat themselves on the back and to take a victory lap, and everyone who advocated for this does deserve our thanks and credit, but while they step into the spotlight, but we all have to thank Sheila for her perseverance and for her support of research on student data privacy that has been,  and will be, used to support additional student data privacy legislation.

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