SENATORIAL STEPS: On May 13, Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) reintroduced a bill to protect students’ educational records. If passed, the “Protecting Student Privacy Act” would amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to prevent edtech companies from using students’ personally identifiable information to target ads or from keeping student information when no longer used for its intended purpose. It would also require school to publicly share the names of all companies with access to student data. For more background on the bill, see Senator Markey’s press release.
The senators first proposed the bill in August 2014. Since then, Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Luke Messer (R-IN) have proposed a similar bill in the House, the “Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act.” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is expected to introduce a bill on student data privacy soon.