We are learning today that being FERPA compliant isn’t as simple as tossing out your old student records. As Tina Nazarian mentions in her article, “The Unintentional Ways Schools Might Be Violating FERPA”, don’t just put them in trash cans—shred them first. If you don’t, your institution might get accused of violating the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, which protects student education records in both K-12 and higher education.
FERPA experts state that there are several ways schools may be unaware of their non-compliance; one area often overlooked is with using outside vendors prior to properly vetting them. It is the school’s responsibility to ensure that vendor doesn’t misuse students’ information records. Some “free” online apps may be mining data to sell to third-parties which is in direct violation. To stay compliant, schools should understand exactly what vendors are doing with their data. Schools need to emphasize the information is NOT for the vendor’s own benefit. Continue reading The Unintentional Ways Schools Might Be Violating FERPA