Blue student backpack, with a multi-color trail of data coming from the open top of the bag and encircling it. Bright purple background.

Student Privacy

School districts across the country have embraced student data use as a means for enhancing school operations and classroom instruction. While the practice of collecting student data is not new – K-12 schools and institutions of higher education have been gathering and reporting test scores, grades, retention records, and the like for decades – the means by which student information is collected, the types of information collected, and the entities that ultimately have access to this data have expanded dramatically. At the same time, the poor data security practices in many schools and subsequent lapses in student privacy demonstrate troubling side effects of irresponsible data use.

CDT believes that realizing the full potential of education technology requires robust student privacy standards. In addition to strict legal compliance, including with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the 100+ state-level student privacy laws that supplement it, protecting student data and using it responsibly requires clear data governance frameworks, well-trained school staff, proactive community engagement, and discerning relationships with education technology vendors. CDT helps education practitioners achieve these goals by providing strategic policy advocacy and actionable guidance resources.

Recent Content

Blue student backpack, with a multi-color trail of data coming from the open top of the bag and encircling it. White CDT logo to the left, "Student Privacy" in blue to the right, and a bright purple background.

Federal Policymakers Should Continue to Build on Recent Steps to Help K-12 Schools Secure Their Networks and Protect Student Privacy

RightsCon 2022: CDT Experts Show Up in Force

The CDT logo. A white "cdt" alongside "Center for Democracy & Technology" on a dark grey background.

Press Release: Shining a Light on How Surveillance Tech Discriminates Against Disabled People

The CDT logo. A light and dark grey "cdt" alongside "Center for Democracy & Technology" on a white background.

FTC to Prioritize Cybersecurity and Data Minimization Enforcement Under COPPA to Bolster Student Privacy

The CDT logo. A white "cdt" alongside "Center for Democracy & Technology" on a dark grey background.

Surveillance Tech Discriminates Against Disabled People: New CDT Report

Cover for CDT report, entitled "Ableism And Disability Discrimination In New Surveillance Technologies: How new surveillance technologies in education, policing, health care, and the workplace disproportionately harm disabled people." A human silhouette, formed by the combination of different collections of pixelized data points generated through the surveillance in the contexts of education, policing, health care, and the workplace. A faint grid, changing from light blue to white, sits behind the silhouette demonstrating the ever-present data collection.

Ableism And Disability Discrimination In New Surveillance Technologies: How new surveillance technologies in education, policing, health care, and the workplace disproportionately harm disabled people

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