Bipartisan Student Data Privacy Bill Introduced in House

On Wednesday, April 29 Representatives Luke Messer (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015. The representatives, who were both instrumental in the development of the Student Data Privacy Pledge, have been working on this bill for some time, including a previous draft that was heavily criticized. Codifying provisions of the Pledge and the Student Data Principles while balancing the need for using data to guide instruction, the new bill still cedes authority to states to make their own decisions regarding best practices.

Bill Highlights


  • Prohibits operators from advertising to students based on information collected from a student’s online behavior or use of the provided service
  • Prohibits operators from selling a student’s information to third parties
  • Prohibits operators from creating a personal profile on a student for a non-educational purpose


  • Gives parents the ability to authorize disclosure of student information for a non-educational purpose
  • Allows parents to delete a student’s information that is no longer required to be maintained by the school
  • Provides parents and schools access to information, including the ability to correct information
  • Directs operators to clearly disclose on their websites and directly to schools the types of information being collected and how that information will be used
  • Allows parents and students to download, create, and use any student-created data


  • Permits operators to use information for personalized and adaptive student learning purposes
  • Allows operators to use aggregated and de-identified data to improve their products


  • Provides the FTC with enforcement authority over the requirements of this bill
  • Requires operators, in compliance with existing law, to notify the FTC and all potential victims of a data breach involving unauthorized acquisition of or access to a student’s information
  • Requires the FTC to collaborate with the Department of Education when carrying out any provision of this Act that directly affects a school

The National Association of School Boards of Education (NASBE) has released a brief analyzing the new bill as well as a draft rewrite of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) from Representatives Kline (R-MN)and Scott (D-VA). Most industry analysts agree that FERPA, which was passed in 1974, needs to be rewritten to keep up with advances in technology.

For more information on the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015, read the press release and the bill fact sheet.

Read A Tale of Two Federal Student Data Privacy Bills from Amelia Vance at NASBE.

The 2015 Content in Context conference from the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group will feature a session on getting down to brass tacks with student data privacy

Data & Privacy