There’s a new study report out by World Privacy Forum on FERPA, “directory information,” and student privacy. It’s a big report that I have yet to find time to really read, but Allen St. John of Consumer Reports can help you get an overview:
A loophole in a federal student privacy law gives outsiders access to the personal information of K-12 students that is listed in school directories, yearbooks, and other publications, according to a new report.
The information—available to data brokers and other private companies—can include student names, birthdates, photos, and home addresses.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)—designed to give parents and students the right to access and amend educational records—allows schools to designate certain student data as “directory information,” according to the 181-page report compiled by the World Privacy Forum.
Read more on Consumer Reports.
A huge thumbs up to Sheila Kaplan who made directory information her issue more than a decade ago, and who individually and with her family’s foundation, helped fund the WPF study and report. Sheila and I started following each other’s blogs around 2006 or 2007 and have always respected each other’s privacy advocacy. She has been a tireless advocate on this issue and tried repeatedly to get New York State to pass meaningful legislation on student privacy, going so far as to work with Robert Gellman on a model bill.