Future of Privacy Forum and the Data Quality Campaign Relaunch the FERPA|Sherpa Education Privacy Resource Center

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      
June 6, 2017
Contact: Melanie Bates, Director of Communications, [email protected]

Future of Privacy Forum and the Data Quality Campaign Relaunch the

FERPA|Sherpa Education Privacy Resource Center

Washington, DC – Today, the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) relaunched FERPA|Sherpa, the leading resource for information about education privacy issues. Named after the core federal law that governs education privacy, FERPA|Sherpa provides students, parents, schools, ed tech companies, and policymakers with easy access to the resources, best practices, and guidelines that are essential to understanding the complex privacy issues arising at the intersection of kids, schools, and technology.

The newly improved website includes:

“FERPA|Sherpa is the best place to easily find the most current, relevant, and authoritative resources regarding student privacy.” said Amelia Vance, Education Policy Counsel for FPF, who runs and creates content for the website. “Stakeholders have created so many great resources and models – some quite recently – and FERPA|Sherpa is the trusted one-stop shop for anyone who wants to access the latest best practices and guidance.”

“Data should be used to open doors, never to close them,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, President and CEO of DQC. “Parents want and deserve assurances that their child’s information is used to help them, never to hurt them and that this data is safeguarded and used responsibly and ethically. That’s why we are pleased to partner with the Future of Privacy Forum on the FERPA|Sherpa website to ensure the education sector is prioritizing the effective and responsible use of data in the service of student learning. FERPA|Sherpa provides information, messages, tools, and emerging best practices around safeguarding data to parents, educators, and policymakers so they can be informed actors and advocates for the ethical use of data in education.”

More than at any other time in the evolution of education, data-driven innovations and emerging technologies – such as online textbooks, apps, tablets and mobile devices, and internet-based learning – are bringing advances and critical improvements in teaching and learning, with profound implications.

At the same time, the increased use of vendors and data in schools is matched by the need for heightened responsibility to manage and safeguard student data and implement policies that benefit education and minimize risk. Concerns have been raised about how student data is collected and used in a next-stage learning ecosystem buzzing with social media, mobile devices, central databases, student records, Big Data, and an array of vendors and software. Since 2013, over 100 new student privacy laws have passed in 40 states.

“The Future of Privacy Forum is committed to creating a better landscape for education privacy,” said Jules Polonetsky, CEO of FPF. “The relaunch of FERPA|Sherpa will enable more effective collaboration between stakeholders and better education privacy practices from schools and companies.”

“Technology and the internet are powerful tools for teaching, learning and family-school communication. At the same time, it is imperative that students’ academic and personal information is protected,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “It is a top priority of National PTA to safeguard children’s data and make certain that parents have appropriate notification and consent as to what and how data is collected and used. National PTA is pleased to collaborate with the Future of Privacy Forum and the Data Quality Campaign to bring the FERPA|Sherpa online resource center to families nationwide to ensure they are knowledgeable about the laws that protect student data as well as students’ and parents’ rights under the laws.”

The new FERPA|Sherpa website builds on FPF’s work to ensure the responsible use of student data and education technology in K-12 and higher education, helping educators with resources and information, and seeking inputs from all stakeholders to ensure privacy while allowing for effective data and technology use in education. FERPA|Sherpa initially launched in spring 2014.

FPF and the Data Quality Campaign are proud to support responsible education technologies in order to promote successful student outcomes. If you have questions or resources that you think should be part of FERPA|Sherpa, please contact Amelia Vance at [email protected].