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Department of Education releases student privacy guidelines

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced that it has released guidelines and established the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to provide information for protecting student privacy. PTAC is intended to be “`a one-stop’ resource for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy,” according to the DOE. 

In an age where student data is at risk of been compromised, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, acknowledged that many people are wondering: “What steps are being taken to keep student data secure, and, just as important, to keep outside businesses and other organizations from making inappropriate use of those data?”

“I want to be absolutely clear that school systems owe families the highest standard of security and privacy,” Duncan said in a speech at the Common Sense Media Privacy Zone Conference earlier this week. “No one makes you sign up for Facebook, but you have to go to school. Our expectations for the protection of children must be paramount,” he said.

Recent breaches of privacy at schools like the University of Maryland and Indiana University demonstrate the dire need for education privacy guidelines. “Privacy rules may well be the seatbelts of this generation,” Duncan said.

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