New York Daily News: Bill to ban schools from sharing students’ personal data with private companies
The New York Daily News reports on a bill introduced by N.Y. Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell (D-Manhattan) concerning the privacy of student data. The bill, A06059 (Assembly html; archive pdf), seeks to prohibit the release of personally identifiable student information without either parental consent or, “in the case of students eighteen years of age or older the consent of the student.” The bill does include exceptions for disclosures required by law, a court order or warrant, or a contract with a third party but the contract must meet certain requirements. The bill includes biometric data — such as fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, DNA, facial characteristics and handwriting — as “personally identifiable student information.” The bill also includes disclosure requirements for “the department, district board of education or school” that shares the student data with other parties.
The bill comes after the Daily News reported that, “In an unprecedented move, education officials will hand over personal student data to a new private company to create a national database for businesses that contract with public schools. Working with the city, state education officials are already uploading private information about students — their names, addresses, test scores, learning disabilities, attendance and disciplinary records — into a $100 million database called inBloom.” Although “Officials vowed they would comply with a federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which requires that the confidential information be protected,” there are protests from parents as well as student and privacy advocates.