“Parents’ Bill of Rights”

 

Every parent has a fundamental right to protect their child’s personal data and to choose what information is available and to whom.  With that in mind, I was proud to support the creation of a “Parents’ Bill of Rights”.

As part of this year’s State Budget, the State Education Department (SED) was required to develop a "Parents' Bill of Rights" on the use and security of student data. The law was a direct result of strong parental opposition to the inBloom data cloud project.  In addition to requiring the Bill of Rights, the law also forced SED to eliminate the plan to participate in the inBloom project.

The preliminary "Parents' Bill of Rights” from SED was issued just hours before the July 29, 2014 deadline. The "Parents' Bill of Rights" is to be included with every contract signed with vendors that use student records.

The law requires that SED strengthen the protections of personal information stored on the state-wide data portal, establish significant civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure of personal information and create independent oversight within SED on matters related to privacy. It also allows parents to report possible breaches of data.  

The document is preliminary and will be enhanced once a permanent chief privacy officer is appointed and additional input is received. You can read the "Parents' Bill of Rights” by clicking on the link below. 

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/docs/parents-bill-of-rights.pdf

Parents can file complaints and suggestions on the Parents Bill of Rights directly to the acting Chief Privacy Officer, Tina Sciocchetti at the New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12234 or by email to CPO@mail.nysed.gov. 

This initial document starts the process of protecting student data, but I believe it can be improved with the suggestions and involvement of parents and local school officials.  Parents and school districts deserve clarity and specific guidelines.  SED must get this right.