Education Privacy

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Kentucky Enacts Data Breach Notification Statute

On April 10, 2014, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed H.B. 232 into law, making Kentucky the 47th state to enact data breach notification legislation. Prior to H.B. 232, Kentucky was one of only four states—including...more

Ill Conceived California Privacy Bill Threatens Viability Of Commercial Educational Online Services

SB 1177, the Student Online Privacy Protection Act was recently introduced in the California legislature. This is a bad bill for the private educational industry, and ultimately for parents and students. It would drastically...more

Closing The Gap Between Privacy Policies And The Use Of Portable Storage Devices

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has released its Report of Findings from a year-long investigation into a significant incident involving the loss of personal data at the former Ministry of Human Resources and...more

Impact On Employers And Schools Of Illinois Supreme Court’s Rejection Of Eavesdropping Law

Employers, schools, and other entities have long relied on the Illinois Eavesdropping Act to prohibit individuals from recording conversations, meetings, classes, and other activities without the consent of all participants....more

Weekly Update from the State House - March 21, 2014: The House focused on "South Carolina Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection...

Details from Each Chamber: HOUSE - The House moved through the Calendar this week, focusing much of their time debating H. 4223, the "South Carolina Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act". The bill, which bans...more

U.S. Department Of Education Releases Guidance On Protecting Student Information While Using Online Educational Services

Last month, the U.S. Department of Education released guidance on the proper use, storage and security of student data being generated by new online educational resources. Published by the Department’s new Privacy Technical...more

Oops and the FOIA, Part One; Kadri v. Groton Board of Education and Protections From the Accidental Disclosure of Attorney-Client...

What happens when your agency’s lawyer sends out a confidential letter that is somehow leaked? A relatively recent decision by the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] appears to indicate that all is not lost, as...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance to Protect Student Privacy Online

Educational institutions face greater legal exposure given their increasing use of online educational services – and situations where they can both collect and disclose protected information. As a result, these institutions...more

Update on Social Media Legislation in Maine

Updating my previous post on this topic, the Judiciary Committee today reported L.D. 1194, An Act to Protect Social Media Privacy in School and the Workplace out of Committee with a recommendation that the bill be passed as...more

School District’s Refusal to Release Bullying Investigation Report Upheld

While the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] generally seeks to provide access to records created by public agencies, and while anti-bullying laws require that parents be notified by a school district with regard to the...more

“Sophisticated” Breach Exposes 300,000 Student Records at University of Maryland: 3 Questions You Should Ask

Officials at the University of Maryland (“University” or “UMD”) announced that UMD was the victim of a significant security breach that took place on Tuesday, February 18 (the “Breach” or “Incident”). The Incident,...more

Search And Seizure In Schools

When the police a search a suspect who’s in custody, the law is fairly well established. But what happens if a student is searched on school grounds? The U.S. Supreme Court and the Ohio courts have wrestled with that question...more

What is the Difference Between FERPA and PPRA? Protecting Student Privacy and Confidential Education Records

Two important federal laws protect the privacy rights of all students: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, “FERPA” and Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, 20 U.S.C. §1232h, “PPRA.” Both...more

"A" for Effort? Senator Markey Announces Latest Privacy Legislation Aimed at Protecting Student Data

On January 14, 2014, Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass) announced that he plans to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to ensure that safeguards are in place for student data shared with third parties. Citing concerns...more

N.J. Court Upholds Criminal Indictment against Former Employee Who Took Confidential Documents

Recently, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court upheld a criminal indictment against a former employee of the North Bergen Board of Education (the Board), which stemmed from the alleged theft of public...more

Recent Appellate Court Decision Reminder Of Student Records Protections In Adversarial Proceedings

In a recent decision, the Illinois Appellate Court held that it is not an unfair labor practice for a school district to refuse to release school student records to a union in a grievance proceeding without a court order or...more

Social Networking Password Laws In Effect For The New Year

Two new laws governing the ability of school authorities to obtain passwords to and information from personal social networking websites of employees and students go into effect on January 1, 2014. The definition of social...more

No Immunity for School Counselor Who Disclosed Report on Suspected Child Abuse to Unauthorized Person

A mother sued a school counselor and a school district after the counselor gave a copy of a suspected child abuse report (“SCAR”) which indicated the mother abused their children, to the noncustodial father. A trial court...more

California School District Enacts Social Media Surveillance To Counter Cyber Bullying

In response to a series of cyber bullying related teen suicides that took place in Los Angeles last year, the Southern California school district has decided to employ a social media monitoring service enabling the school to...more

Capital Thinking: Education

Legislative Activity - STUDENT PRIVACY PROTECTIONS - Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) sent a letter Tuesday, October 22 to Education Secretary Arne Duncan requesting more information about student privacy protections. The...more

No Right of Privacy for Bikini-Clad Image on Facebook

The use at a seminar on internet safety of a picture of a 17-year-old bikini-clad student taken from her Facebook page by a school district technology director did not violate the student’s right to privacy under federal law,...more

New Law Requires Local Public Agencies in California To Notify Anyone Affected by a Security Breach

Cities, Counties, Special Districts and School Districts Must Now Notify Those Impacted by Security Breaches - Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 1149 (AB 1149) and Senate Bill 46 (SB 46) into law,...more

By The Book - August 2013: Compliance with FERPA: The Debate Between Students’ & Parents’ Rights

Ever since the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, popularly known as “FERPA” or the “Buckley Amendment,” was enacted in 1974, colleges and universities across the country have been challenged with...more

By The Book - August 2013: Clery Act Update and the Campus SaVE Act

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (commonly referred to as the “Clery Act”), 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f), was named after a 19-year old freshman at Lehigh University who was raped...more

Illinois Court Opinion Clarifies Key FOIA Provisions

Recently, the Illinois Appellate Court clarified three key provisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act: the “predecisional” or “deliberative process” exemption; the exemption for unwarranted invasion of personal...more

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