Regulating Student Data Privacy: Don’t Throw the Baby out with the Bathwater

Organization: National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
Author: Amelia Vance
Published: April 2, 2015

Experts predicted that student data privacy would be a major issue in 2015, and they were right: As of March 26, state legislatures in 41 states had introduced a combined 160 student privacy bills, more than the total number introduced in all of 2014. Many of those bills would give state boards of education a key governing role in protecting student data privacy, and many states already have laws on the books giving state boards this responsibility. If passed, however, some of the new legislation could hamstring the effective, safe use of data. As more state boards take on this governing role, it is vital that they understand the complicated legal, technical, and political tangle of student data privacy in order to both protect privacy and allow data to be used to ensure students graduate college and career ready.