It is the Law…
Laws affecting the privacy and security of education data in Georgia are featured on this page. The Student Data Privacy, Accessibility and Transparency Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act are the two primary laws that affect the education data of students attending a Georgia public education school.
The Student Data Privacy, Accessibility and Transparency Act
Effective July 1, 2016, the Student Data Privacy, Accessibility, and Transparency Act (O.C.G.A. §20-2-661-20-2-667) has brought heightened awareness to student data privacy and security. As mentioned in the law, student information is important for educational purposes, and it is also critically important to ensure that student information is protected, safeguarded, kept private, and used only by appropriate educational authorities to serve the best interests of the student.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
In addition to the Student Data Privacy, Accessibility and Transparency Act, Georgia schools and parents also rely upon the privacy guidance offered by FERPA. FERPA is a federal law that was enacted by Congress in 1974 to protect the privacy of students and their parents. The primary purpose of FERPA is to provide the requirements for the protection of the student education data and provide the rights of the parents and the students.
Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA)
COPPA imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.
Protection of Pupil Rights Amendments (PPRA)
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) applies to the programs and activities of a state education agency (SEA), local education agency (LEA), or other recipient of funds under any program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It governs the administration to students of a survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight protected areas:
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student's parent.
- Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student's family.
- Sex behavior or attitudes.
- Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior.
- Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships.
- Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers.
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student's parent; or
- Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).
PPRA also concerns marketing surveys and other areas of student privacy, parental access to information, and the administration of certain physical examinations to minors. The rights under PPRA transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under state law.
Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA)
The USA amends FERPA in two ways. First, the USA amends FERPA to permit educational agencies and institutions to disclose a student's education records, without parental consent, to a caseworker or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency or tribal organization authorized to access a student's case plan ''when such agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with State or tribal law, for the care and protection of the student.'' Second, the USA also allows educational agencies and institutions to disclose a student's education records pursuant to a judicial order without requiring additional notice to the parent by the educational agency or institution in specified types of judicial proceedings in which a parent is involved.