L.D. 1252, An Act To Protect Student Data, was voted out of the Educational and Cultural Affairs Committee with a vote of ought-not-to-pass.

I urge others to call their state legislators to support L.D. 1252, and L.D. 1251, An Act To Safeguard Students’ Personal and Private Information, which protects the parental rights of consent in accordance with three federal laws.

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was enacted in 1974 and bars the disclosure of personally identifiable data in student records to third parties without parental consent. The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment was enacted in 1978, and applies to student surveys, instructional materials or evaluations funded by the federal government that deal with highly sensitive issues.

Congress in 1998 enacted the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission, not the U.S. Department of Education. The primary goal of COPPA is to allow parents to have control over what information is collected online from their children under age 13. The law applies to any operators of websites, online services including web-based testing, programs or “apps” that collect, use or disclose children’s personal information, whether at home or at school.

L.D. 1252 would establish restrictions and protocols for the access and use of personally identifying student data by public and private elementary and secondary schools in software applications used to input, store and manage student data and on school-authorized access data on students’ personal electronic devices.

Gordon Draper

Bowdoin

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