ConnectSafely releases A Parents’ Guide to Student Data Privacy

Student data privacy
Click here to view A Parents Guide to Student Data Privacy

Palo Alto, CA, (April 28, 2015) –, a leading non-profit Internet safety organization, today released A Parents’ Guide to Student Data Privacy, in partnership with the Future of Privacy Forum and the National PTA.

“Data privacy and security is much more than protecting yourself from hackers, it’s about your being in control of your own information,” said ConnectSafely CEO Larry Magid. “Schools – and the companies they work with – have access to an unprecedented amount of personal information about our kids. With A Parents’ Guide to Student Data Privacy, we help parents understand their options – and rights – for ensuring schools keep their kids’ personal information safe.”

The guide answers the following and more:

  • Who has access to personal information about my child?
  • What are FERPA and COPPA and how do these federal laws protect students’ privacy?
  • When can parents “opt out” of their child’s information being shared?

“As data and technology use expands to improve educational outcomes, the focus needs to stay on parents and students, and it is essential for parents to understand how their children’s information is being handled and used,” said Jules Polonetsky, Executive Director, Future of Privacy Forum. “This guide helps parents understand the laws that protect student data and their rights under these laws. We live in an increasingly connected world, but whether the information is online or on paper, the basic privacy and access rights remain the same.”

The guide explains the network of laws that protect students’ data, and steps parents can take to ensure that data is not only correct but secure. “Technology and the Internet are powerful tools for teaching and learning, but at the same time, it is imperative that students’ academic and personal information is protected,” said Otha Thornton, Jr., President, National PTA. “It is a top priority of National PTA to safeguard children’s data and make certain that parents have appropriate notification and consent as to what and how data is collected and used. National PTA is pleased to collaborate with the Future of Privacy Forum and ConnectSafely to bring the Parents’ Guide to Student Data Privacy to families nationwide to ensure they are knowledgeable about the laws that protect student data as well as students’ and parents’ rights under the laws.”

The guide, which joins ConnectSafely’s parents’ guides to mobile phones, cyberbullying, cybersecurity, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Google+, is available at

About ConnectSafely is a Silicon Valley, Calif.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating users of connected technology about safety, privacy and security with research-based safety tips, parents’ guidebooks, advice, news and commentary on all aspects of tech use and policy.