Steps Since SOTU: Progress Safeguarding Student Data

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In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama outlined his plan to make sure that new educational data remains safe. Urging action, the President said that Congress needed to pass legislation that better meets the growing threat of cyber attacks and identity theft. While speaking at the Federal Trade Commission in January, the President discussed protecting both parents and children from cyber threats.

“We need a structure that ensures that information is not being gathered without us as parents or the kids knowing it,” he said. “We want our kids’ privacy protected -- wherever they sign in or log on, including at school.”

That’s why we are pleased to see Representatives Luke Messer (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO) answer the President’s State of the Union call to enact new protections for K-12 students’ data to ensure that classrooms can embrace technology with confidence.

Introduced yesterday, The Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act is an important bipartisan step, building upon existing momentum from industry leaders committed to ensuring educational data is not misused by providers or third parties, and carrying the strong endorsement of privacy advocates, the private sector, and associations representing parents and educators

The White House commends Representatives Messer and Polis on their leadership in this important cause.  We also note the work of Senator Blumenthal in making this effort bicameral, and look forward to working with both chambers in the months ahead to advance legislation that provides meaningful privacy protections and helps spur more innovation in the way we educate.