31 states introduce student data privacy bills

Laws already passed in 2016 focus on data governance, transparency and leadership

As of April, 31 states have introduced 94 different student data privacy bills, according to the nonprofit Data Quality Campaign.

The governors of New Hampshire, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia approved the first student data privacy laws of 2016, with each law focusing on data governance, transparency and leadership:

New Hampshire’s HB 301 establishes a committee to study the state’s longitudinal data system and the security of school district databases and privacy policies.

Utah’s Student Data Protection Act (HB 358) establishes processes for managing student data collection and use, and requires districts to develop their own data governance policies and to designate a student data privacy manager

West Virginia’s Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act (HB 4261) is modeled off a 2013 Oklahoma law establishing a state-level data governance manager. It also tasks the state’s education agency with making its data practices more accessible to parents.

Virginia made amendments (HB 519 and HB 749) to a 2015 law governing the activities of service providers, to include covering services designed and marketed for schools that are used by private groups that support schools, such as booster clubs or PTAs. The state also passed a law (HB 390) relating to the privacy and security of teacher data.

More bills are expected to be signed into law by the end of the year, according to the Data Quality Campaign.

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