The Daily Caller reports:
Students could have advertisements directed at them by Coca-Cola due to holes in existing privacy laws, one expert testified Wednesday during a House hearing on the data security of American schoolchildren.
Joel Reidenberg, who directs the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham Law School, told joint hearing of two House subcommittees that the privacy risks of growing digital efforts in education are grossly underappreciated.
Not surprisingly, businesses do not want new laws or more regulation:
Mark MacCarthy, a vice president of the Software and Information Industry Association, countered in his own testimony that fears of lost data are overblown and that no new legislation is needed. A great deal of market pressure already exists to make sure student data is (sic) misused, he said. Companies that used student data for their own profit would “lose the confidence of their customers,” he said.
MacCarthy also warned that action by Congress end up hurting the U.S. economy in the long run.
Read more on Daily Caller.
Reidenberg is correct, of course. FERPA is not adequate to keep up with what has happened in education in terms of longitudinal data systems and the wealth of other types of information that are being lumped under “education records” – or are excluded from protection. New regulations – not just guidelines – are needed. Standards for data security are also needed in both k-12 and higher education, with enforcement for both privacy and data security.