Landmark Bill to Protect Student Data Privacy Signed Into Law

Yesterday, I was pleased to join fellow legislators of the General Assembly's Education Committee and local advocates in attending the governor's ceremonial signing at the State Capitol of the landmark student data privacy bill that became law last month. This bipartisan legislation will restrict use and electronic storage of student data and also require parental notification by local school boards. Connecticut now joins the ranks of more than half the other states in the nation that have passed legislation to close the gaps in student data privacy protection left by federal law.

For more details, please see the press release issued by my office, which is attached below. 

As always, don’t hesitate to call or email me if you’d like to discuss this or any other issue further.

Lavielle: Landmark Bill to Protect Student Data Privacy Signed into Law

Bi-partisan Bill Restricts Use and Electronic Storage of Student Data;
Requires Parental Notification by Local School Boards


State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) today applauded Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s signature on legislation that will expand the state's effort to protect the privacy of student data.

The state representative was accompanied by fellow legislators of the Education Committee and advocates at today’s landmark bill signing at the State Capitol.

Rep. Lavielle, Ranking Member of the General Assembly's Education Committee, said, “With an ever-increasing reliance on technology, we must remain vigilant about third parties seeking to utilize the personal and private information of students. This bill requires meaningful actions and strategies not only to protect how that personally identifiable information is being used, but also includes provisions to strengthen parents’ rights to notification by their local school boards. With this legislation, Connecticut will join the ranks of more than half the other states in the nation that have passed legislation to close the gaps left by federal law.”

Rep. Lavielle, a staunch advocate for student data privacy, has been a long-standing champion of the issue. She introduced a concept bill during the 2015 legislative session which passed out of the Education Committee, but was not called for debate.  Lavielle again introduced legislation in the Education Committee earlier this year during the 2016 legislative session, and was instrumental in the debate and passage of the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives.  

Rep. Lavielle added, “While there is much work still to be done, this bi-partisan legislation is a major step forward in ensuring that strong protections regarding the privacy of our students’ data are in place. I was pleased to have worked on behalf of my constituents as well as students and parents across Connecticut. I am very grateful for the tireless advocacy and research of many Fairfield County advocates, including Jennifer Jacobsen-Tapsall, Anne Manusky, Maria Naughton, and Kim Butler. Their work made the unanimous passage of this bill possible.”

The legislation, Public Act 16-189, is comprehensive in nature and incorporates several provisions to protect the privacy of student information including:

·         Restricting how student information may be used by entities that contract to provide educational software and electronic storage of student records and by operators of websites, online services, or mobile applications (i.e., apps)

·         Clarifying that student data collected for school purposes is not owned by any of these third-party contractors

·         Requiring local boards of education to notify parents when they execute a new contract with a software, data storage, or internet service provider

·         Stipulating data security and privacy provisions that must figure in all contracts between local school districts and software, data storage, and internet service providers.

·         Requiring school districts to withhold the release of student directory information if the local or regional board of education determines that a request for such information is not related to school purposes.

Submitted by Wilton, CT

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