Data Privacy & SOPPA
Resources, training, and support for student data privacy issues and SOPPA.
Supporting school districts with student data privacy issues and SOPPA implementation.
The Learning Technology Center provides support and services specifically designed to assist school districts and schools with cybersecurity, data security, and student data safety. During the 2020-2021 school year, our focus is on assisting school districts with SOPPA implementation through virtual PD, one-on-one consultations, and free resources and tools for managing workflows.
Student Data Privacy Laws for School Districts
Today’s education-focused technologies enable the easy and often unseen transfer of student data from one system to another. In Illinois, school districts and staff are now responsible for understanding how student data is handled in order to comply with relevant state and federal laws. Learn more about your district’s obligations to protect student data privacy below:
Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA)
Effective July 1, 2021, school districts will be required by the Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA) to provide 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).
- Legislative Brief on SOPPA
- SOPPA Introduction Video
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Recommended Reasonable Security Practices
- Learn more at Illinois Student Privacy Alliance (ISPA)
- Robbins Schwartz’s In Brief on SOPPA
- SOPPA Amendments 2021: Requirements for Written Agreements and Strategies for Risk Mitigation – This webinar was presented in collaboration with Robbins-Schwartz, the Learning Technology Center of Illinois, Gallagher, and Secure Halo to discuss SOPPA’s contract requirements and related cyber liability security measures and risk management strategies and solutions.
Upcoming Data Privacy Events
- FERPA Model Notification of Rights for Elementary & Secondary Schools, U.S. Department of Education
- FERPA Model Directory Information Notice (En español), U.S. Department of Education
- PPRA Model General Notice of Rights, U.S. Department of Education
- PPRA Model Notice & Consent Opt-Out for Specific Activities, U.S. Department of Education
- Model Form for Disclosure to Parents of Dependent Students, U.S. Department of Education
- Model Form for Disclosure to Parents of Dependent Students and Consent Form for Disclosure to Parents, U.S. Department of Education
Data Privacy Resources for School Districts
National Data Privacy Agreement + Illinois Exhibit
The National Data Privacy Agreement (NDPA) streamlines application contracting and sets common expectations between schools/districts and marketplace providers. The LTC created an Illinois-specific exhibit that modifies the NDPA for use in Illinois, making it compliant with SOPPA regulations. Learn more about NDPA and the Illinois Student Privacy Alliance.
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 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 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 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.