Student Privacy and Special Education: An Educator’s Guide During and After COVID-19

COVID-19 has disrupted education and has forced schools to pivot quickly to a distance learning approach, which is often virtual. Using virtual learning products comes with concerns about student privacy, including for students receiving special education and related services. Federal privacy laws don’t explicitly address how to handle every situation, but concerns about privacy should not be a barrier to serving students as best as educators are able. This guide, developed by the National Center for Learning Disabilities and Future of Privacy Forum is designed to provide an overview of major relevant privacy laws and to help educators think through common scenarios that might present privacy concerns, particularly for students with disabilities.

Student Privacy Compass

A website that helps all education privacy stakeholders learn the basics, keep informed about the latest news, laws, and resources, and better communicate how to ensure education privacy while allowing for the good use of data and technology in education. It includes specific resource pages for K-12 officials, higher ed officials, parents, students, industry, and policymakers.

Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA)

A legislative brief that introduces requirements under the Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), which provides additional guarantees that student data is protected when collected by educational technology companies, and that data is used for beneficial purposes only (105 ILCS 85).

Student Privacy at the U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education’s website to provide schools and school districts with best practices to use in their management of information about students. This site aims to assist stakeholders in protecting the privacy of students by providing official guidance on FERPA, technical best practices and the answers to Frequently Asked Questions.