The Student Digital Privacy Act

Yesterday, President Obama unveiled legislation to protect students’ data privacy, adding to the discussion about how to successfully use educational technology without. The Student Digital Privacy Act will ensure that student data be used only for educational purposes by prohibiting companies from selling the data for purposes other than education. Seventy-five companies have already signed a pledge stating they will not misuse collected data.

The Student Digital Privacy Act is modeled after a California law – which was enacted last year and will take effect next January – that bars education technology companies from selling student data or using data to target students with advertising; companies are also banned from creating student profiles unless they further K-12 school purposes. “We’re saying that data collected on students in the classroom should only be used for educational purposes – to teach our children, not to market our children,” Obama said at the Federal Trade Commission office.

Last year, the Speak Up 2014 survey asked new questions about student data privacy; for example, we asked parents, “Has your child’s school or district provided you with information about how they are protecting the confidentiality of personal information that is being collected and stored digitally about your child?” Find out the results from this question and more when we release our Speak Up 2014 national data report at our congressional briefing in spring – you can view last year’s briefing and report here.

Interested in learning more about the Student Digital Privacy Act? Check out the articles, “Barack Obama to seek limits on student data mining” (Politico) and “Obama proposes legislation on data breaches, student privacy” (Washington Post), or read a recap on the White House blog.

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