Law Enforcement Access to Student Records:
A Guide for School Administrators & Ed Tech Service Providers
Washington, DC – Today, the Future of Privacy Forum released a new paper, Law Enforcement Access to Student Records: A Guide for School Administrators & Ed Tech Service Providers. With the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last month, it is important that schools – and the companies that serve them – understand their legal options and when they may be required to disclose student personal information to law enforcement.
“The Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) broadly prohibits schools from disclosing student records without the written consent of the parent or student,” said Amelia Vance, FPF Policy Counsel. “In this Guide, we highlight two key best practices when responding to federal requests for student data: 1) consult legal counsel to determine your obligations; and 2) carefully align the amount and types of data you collect about students to the programs and services you provide,” said Vance.
The Guide notes that some schools collect student immigration status or other data that can be used to imply immigration status. “If schools collect student immigration status data, it is considered part of the student record and is protected by FERPA,” Vance said. The Guide explains that schools may only disclose this information with consent or in response to a valid court order or subpoena.
In addition to the Guide, FPF has released an accompanying blog with a list of supplemental resources and articles.
The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. Learn more about FPF by visiting www.fpf.org.