FERPA

News & Analysis as of

Is your institution of higher education covered by HIPAA?

It comes as no surprise that virtually every postsecondary administrator is familiar with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). After all, FERPA, the primary federal law...more

Headed Toward a Short Circuit? Robots, Special Education Students, and Legal Risks

When I was a kid, I loved the movie Short Circuit. (I know: I’m both dating myself and making you question my taste in movies). I always wondered if the day would come when I would have my own walking, talking robot friend...more

Is Google Illegally Spying On Your Students? New FTC Complaint Says It Is

Google Apps for Education has recently come under fire with a Federal Trade Commission complaint filed by a nonprofit organization, Electronic Frontier Foundation. In a press release issued last week, EFF claims that Google’s...more

Settlement Agreements with Students Are Protected Student Records But Must Be Disclosed in Redacted Form Under Public Records Law,...

What is the responsibility of a public educational institution when it receives a public records request for material that it believes it must keep private under state and federal student records laws?...more

Higher Education Highlights - Fall 2015

Risk managers who also happen to be attorneys are not always protected by the attorney-client privilege, according to a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In Casey v. Unitek...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week - 10/30/2015

Dear Legal Mailbag: Technology is great. My school received a big school safety grant, and we bought a bunch of security cameras. In fact, I think that we record every step my students take in the building other than in...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

Tagging Trouble: Forays into the Regulation of Biometric Data

We leave breadcrumbs of biometric information scattered around our daily lives, which may be collected and used by private entities, often without our knowledge or consent. The sound of your voice when you call your bank’s...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – 10/9/15

One of my teachers is a nosy parker, and she is always getting involved in things that are none of her business, at least officially. I have tried to ignore her because I have better things to do, but it looks like she got...more

How to Avoid and Respond to a Cybersecurity Breach

In light of numerous recent data breaches, cybersecurity has emerged as an issue impacting organizations ranging from the local hardware store to the largest multi-national firms in the world. In short, no industry is immune...more

U.S. Department of Education issues FERPA guidance related to medical information

In conjunction with the new school year, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance, in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter, to higher education institutions to remind them of FERPA’s requirements as they relate to...more

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Regardless of what type of legal or physical custody a parent exercises, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), all parents are provided with certain rights surrounding their ability to access their...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

Student Data Concerns Give Rise to Proposed Changes in Federal Education Privacy Laws

It has been over 40 years since Congress initially passed the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g), also referred to as the “Buckley Amendment” after its primary Congressional sponsor. ...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

Doing Business With the State of Connecticut: A Guide to Data Privacy and Security Requirements

Doing business with Connecticut’s state government requires individuals, businesses and other entities to comply with numerous legal, regulatory and contractual requirements. Among these obligations are some of the nation’s...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – 6/16/15

I am just finishing up my first year as an assistant principal, and I hope that you can help me with an issue that has concerned me. Early in my tenure here, a paraprofessional asked to review the IEP for a student with whom...more

SEE YOU IN COURT – June 2015

Last year, Mal Content ran for the Nutmeg Board of Education on a platform of constituent service, with advertisements promising, “Tell me your problems, and I will find you solutions.” Despite Mal’s grand promises, he was...more

Hackers seek to access intellectual property assets of higher educational institutions

College and universities, like many other businesses and organizations, defend against millions of cyberattacks each day. Most recently, Penn State’s College of Engineering discovered a multi-year long cyberattack seeking...more

Rapid Developments in State Student Privacy Laws

In 2014, at least 16 states enacted laws regulating the privacy of student information. The trend is continuing in 2015, as at least 165 state student privacy bills have been introduced thus far, six of which have already...more

Federal student privacy law in flux

In recent months, the White House and members of Congress have called for an overhaul of the forty-year old Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) ((20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), which safeguards the...more

FERPA and subpoenas for student records

With some frequency, we receive questions in our practice regarding the interplay between the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) and subpoenas or court orders. Many...more

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance: Terms of Service Agreements

The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (“PTAC”), a resource center established by the U.S. Department of Education for information on data privacy, recently released guidance relating to Terms of Service agreements. This...more

12 Legal Mistakes to Avoid in Terms of Service for Online Educational Services and Apps

A classroom teacher comes across a promising online educational service or application that she wants to use with her students and comes to you to make sure it’s legally appropriate. The service or app would collect and use...more

White House Task Force Publishes Sample Law Enforcement MOU for Sexual Assault Cases

On January 26, 2015, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault (Task Force) published new guidance on building partnerships between law enforcement agencies and institutions of higher education....more

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