Educational Institutions Personally Identifiable Information

News & Analysis as of

UMass Amherst Settles HIPAA Violations with OCR for $650,000

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced that the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) has agreed to settle an investigation against it as a result of a malware infection for $650,000, along with implementing a...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on Student Medical Records

On September 14, 2016, the Department of Education (DOE) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” to provide guidance on the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the disclosure of student medical...more

Judge seals transcript of Title IX hearing

A federal judge in North Carolina sealed a transcript of a University of North Carolina (UNC) hearing to determine whether the plaintiff was responsible for committing sexual acts without consent. In the case in question, the...more

Colorado jumps into student data privacy protection with new privacy law

The recognized trend in data privacy is that those collecting or storing personally identifying information (“PII”) are required to safeguard and protect that information. The requirement to safeguard and protect data extends...more

Colorado Student Data Privacy Bill – What EdTech software providers need to know

Colorado is the latest state to revisit, and expand upon, its laws pertaining to the use and protection of student data. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper recently signed into law House Bill 16-1423 (the “Bill”) designed to...more

Colorado Law Protects Student Information, Boosts Cybersecurity Resources

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed into law two bills implementing enhanced protections and obligations for entities handling student personally identifiable information and increasing state resources dedicated to...more

Tidewater Community College hit with phishing scam exposing data of 3,193 employees

Tidewater Community College (Tidewater) has announced that the personal information, including names and Social Security numbers of 3,193 current and former faculty and staff members was compromised in a phishing scheme and...more

Students Sue University of Central Florida for Data Breach

Recently, students and employees of the University of Central Florida (the “University”) filed a proposed class action lawsuit in Florida federal court against the University alleging that the University failed to adequately...more

Colleges and Universities Are Prime Cyberattack Targets: What’s Behind the Threat?

When it comes to cyberattack targets, many think of retailers and associated credit card transactions or customer information, or perhaps healthcare providers with their ever-increasing storage and transmission of electronic...more

PAC Finds Student Discipline Records, Even if Redacted, Identified Students and Were Exempt from FOIA

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued a non-binding opinion that provides guidance on what constitutes a school student record as provided in the Illinois School Student Records Act (ISSRA) and...more

79,000 students’ data breached by vendor of Cal State

We End Violence, a third party vendor that provides online sexual assault prevention training to California State (Cal State) students notified Cal State that it experienced a vulnerability in its underlying code that exposed...more

States Try to Make the Grade with Student Data Privacy Efforts

Eight states passed substantive bills during the 2015 legislative session requiring education-focused Internet service, websites and mobile app providers to take measures to protect student data - With students around the...more

Academic Institutions Are Under Cyber Attack

Academia’s cyber preparedness (or lack thereof) has received less media attention than that of certain retailers and financial institutions, but nonetheless the cyber risks confronting universities are pervasive and alarming....more

Using Student Medical Records: Department of Education Issues New Guidance

When is it legal and proper for higher education institutions to use student medical records other than for a student's healthcare? In answering that question, institutions have to balance students' privacy interests,...more

School Districts and Charter Schools Must Address Student Data Privacy Concerns in Contracts

In working with school districts and charter schools, our firm has learned that many clients may have entered into agreements that lack key contract terms necessary to protect student data privacy. In other cases, we have...more

Delaware Changes Online, Student Privacy Protection Laws

Four pieces of legislation intended to improve online privacy and protections for Delaware residents were signed into law by Governor Jack Markell on August 7, 2015. Collectively, this legislation will impact a broad range of...more

The ABCs of COPPA Compliance

In today’s environment – when data breaches seem to be in the news nearly every day – the media, regulators and many others are hyper-focused on privacy issues. Schools and educational institutions are no exception when it...more

E-Discovery and Information Management: Electronic Data Breach Of Student Records—The University’s Obligation To Disclose (3/15)

Data security breaches have become unfortunately prevalent amongst higher education institutions. In fact, colleges and universities suffer data breaches at a rate of just over one per week.(1) The Privacy Rights...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

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

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