Bill increases student data privacy protections while ensuring data can be used in service of learning
WASHINGTON (April 29, 2015)— Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) today released the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act, a bill aimed at safeguarding student privacy. Following are the remarks of Aimee Rogstad Guidera, President and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign, a national nonprofit that advocates for the safe, effective use of education data to improve student achievement:
“The Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act represents an important step by Congress to establish an agreed upon framework of acceptable access, use, and sharing of education data in service of student learning. Congressmen Messer and Polis are to be commended for their leadership in this discussion about the important role of data in education and the need to build transparency, understanding, and trust about how this information is being used and protected.
“Today’s bill introduction is recognition that everyone who has a stake in education, including the federal government, has a role to play in ensuring that we protect the personal information of our students as we use data to personalize learning, spur innovation, and help our young people achieve their goals.
“This bill recognizes the critical role of data and technology in education and proposes new, strong protections that ensure student data are safeguarded. These protections still allow educators and families to be empowered with data to inform education decisionmaking, and ensure that service providers are able to create and deliver innovative and effective resources and tools that help prepare students for success in school and beyond. Our students deserve nothing less.
“While laws are necessary, it is not possible to legislate trust; building the trust of families that students’ data will be kept safe requires focus on developing the policies, practices, and norms required for everyone with a stake in education to understand their role in keeping student data safe and secure.
“The Student Data Principles signed on to by 38 national education organizations are a critical part of this effort, as is the service provider community’s Student Privacy Pledge. The more than 170 bills on student data privacy and security that state legislatures have considered this year and the new guidance issued by the Federal Trade Commission and US Department of Education in recent months represent the prioritization of efforts to help states, districts, and those closest to students keep student data safe and secure.”
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