FERPA

News & Analysis as of

House Committee examines student data privacy concerns

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently held a hearing to evaluate federal policies affecting education research and student privacy. At issue is whether and how Congress will update the 1974 Family...more

Top Takeaways from IAPP

The world of privacy grows every day as more data goes through the cloud. The new trends and weekly data breaches make conferences like the Global Privacy Summit all the more relevant. Earlier this month we went to...more

Open Communication and Collaboration Make Campus Networks Vulnerable to Cyberattack

Institutions of higher education face growing threats from cyber attackers. Instances of attacks on universities are increasing, with recent large-scale attacks at some of the country's top universities. Approximately one...more

Alert: Common Sense Media to Grade EdTech Company Privacy Practices

Last week, Common Sense Media ("CSM") announced that it is undertaking an ambitious initiative to evaluate and grade the student data privacy practices of EdTech companies that provide products, apps, or services for use in...more

Federal Judge Reverses Own Ruling on Release of Student Data

“Not so fast!” cried privacy advocates and parents when California federal judge Kimberly Mueller ordered the release of a huge database of personally identifiable student information to a group of plaintiffs’...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

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

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