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

CDT Urges the U.S. Department of Education to Protect LGBTQI+ Students from Discriminatory Data & Tech Use in Proposed Title IX Rules. White document on a grey background.

CDT Urges U.S. Department of Education to Protect LGBTQI+ Students from Discriminatory Data & Tech Use in Proposed Title IX Rules

CDT brief, entitled "Responsible Use of Data and Technology in Education: School Safety Technology Carries Big Risks for Vulnerable Students." White document on a grey background.

Responsible Use of Data and Technology in Education: School Safety Technology Carries Big Risks for Vulnerable Students

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.

Student Privacy a Concern During Implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

Letter to ED Office for Civil Rights on Discriminatory Effects of Online Monitoring of Students. White document on a dark grey background.

Letter to ED Office for Civil Rights on Discriminatory Effects of Online Monitoring of Students

CDT report, entitled "Hidden Harms: The Misleading Promise of Monitoring Students Online." Text in white and pink, on a dark blue gradient background. Subtle images of a computer with student activity monitoring software on the screen, and monitoring reports underneath it, are on the bottom.

Report – Hidden Harms: The Misleading Promise of Monitoring Students Online

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.

Student and Parent Voices: Opinions about Student Activity Monitoring

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