Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed AB 1584, a bill that protects student privacy. AB 1584 ensures that the privacy of information in student records is protected when school districts contract with private companies for cloud-based data management services or for online programs and mobile applications that are used for instruction.
“It is important for parents to know that their children’s personal information is protected and remains confidential,” said Assemblymember Joan Buchanan, who sponsored the bill. “I was proud to work this important issue. AB 1584 ensures that student records remain private regardless of whether they are stored in a file cabinet or the cloud and that parents will retain the right to view and correct any inaccuracies. This bill will give California the strictest laws on student privacy in the nation.”
This issue was brought to Assemblywoman Buchanan’s attention by a constituent Steven Liao, who discovered that state and local policies failed to protect personal student data once that data was transferred to the cloud through the use of web-based applications. After further research, Buchanan learned that the protections afforded to student records by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) do not extend past the school doors, creating the potential for companies to use students’ records for their own purposes.
Liao noted, “Digital security of our children in a networked education environment requires the continuous collaboration of parents, educators, and administrators. This bill delivers a framework for our under resourced educators to safely implement enabling technology that keep our children globally competitive. Thank you to Assemblymember Buchanan and her staff for their leadership in enhancing the security for our children.”
Common Sense Media, a national organization committed to ensuring the online safety of children, says with the passage of AB 1584, “California is leading the way in establishing a strong framework to protect our schoolchildren.