EPIC Questions Education Department's Response to Student Privacy Complaints

The non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is raising questions about the U.S. Education Department's response to student privacy complaints. The organization recently obtained documents, in response to a public records request, from the department detailing parent and student complaints about the misuse of educational records.

The information reveals that schools and districts have disclosed students' personal records without consent, possibly in violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The documents also reveal that the agency failed to investigate many FERPA complaints, including some that appeared to be potentially serious student privacy breaches. Khaliah Barnes, director of EPIC's Student Privacy Project, said the group awaits more documents that may shed light on the most pressing concerns raised by parents and students.

In other news, privacy advocates launched a new national organization on Wednesday to press for more aggressive federal protections of children's personal information, Politico reported. The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy has already contacted lawmakers urging swift action to strengthen federal privacy laws. Additionally, the group is pushing for hearings on the Education Department's revisions to FERPA, that let schools share student data with more third parties, including for-profit vendors.


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EPIC Uncovers Complaints from Education Department about Misuse of Education Records