New Analysis: 46 States Introduced 182 Bills Addressing Student Privacy In 2015


WASHINGTON (September 24, 2015)—Released today, the Data Quality Campaign’s new analysis of 2015 state legislation provides clarity on the continuing evolution of student data privacy legislation. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Fifteen states passed 28 new student data privacy laws.
  • States introduced 81 bills with opt-out or opt-in provisions, compared to 17 bills in 2014. This may not be a good solution as privacy experts from the Future of Privacy Forum note that “providing parents with more notice and choice may do little to actually protect student privacy.”
  • Nine laws gave districts new privacy or security responsibilities. To meet these new responsibilities, several laws also direct the state to provide districts support.
  • Sixty-one bills explicitly addressed research activities or researcher access to student data. Six bills were signed into law in five states. Some bills articulated governance and data request review processes, others sought to limit researchers’ access to data.
  • Thirty-one states introduced legislation with requirements for service providers. Of the 182 bills introduced in 2015, 44 were modeled after California’s 2014 Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA).

Link to High-Resolution Image

“The scope and number of bills shows states are putting great thought into how they can use data to support students while also safeguarding it,” said Paige Kowalski, vice president of policy and advocacy for the Data Quality Campaign.

“We are in a much better place but there’s no finish line when it comes to privacy and security efforts. States can help curb misconceptions that continue to fuel potentially damaging legislation by being transparent about what data they collect, how and why the data are used, who has access to the data, and how the data are safeguarded.”


Contact: Dakarai Aarons, 202-393-7192,