Kathryn Lindsay
August 13, 2015 10:36 am

With recent cyber attacks hitting major corporations like Target and Sony, schools are realizing that they need to step up their game if they want to stay ahead of technology. Specifically, schools in Delaware are working on making student information air-tight after governor Jack Markell signed the Student Data Privacy Protection Act on Friday.

You probably don’t think about it, but your school actually knows a lot about you. It’s not just your grades, they also have your health records, family income, test scores, housing info, phone numbers and Social Security number all on file. And by “on file,” I don’t mean in an old-fashioned filing cabinet, locked away in some dusty basement. In the digital age, all of this info is on school computers, and that’s where the cyber safety concerns come in.

Teri Hodges, president of the Delaware PTA, explained:

With this new law, the Department of Education is required to write more in-depth rules regarding student data storage, specifically how it’s stored and who has access. Then, there’s the matter of how this sensitive information is used. The law makes it illegal for any companies to use the information for advertising purposes, and cracks down on what they can do. If there does happen to be a breach, the law also requires schools to outline their plans for dealing with it. Mostly, this law will force schools to step back and answer all the questions that have been coming up as technology becomes a bigger and bigger part of the classroom.

Currently, Delaware is the leader in this movement for securing students’ information, being one of only two states to actually pass the law (special shout out to the other state, New Hampshire!). In 12 other states, similar bills were introduced, but it’s up to us to use our voices and encourage our local governments to take action. Privacy is important, and so are you!

(Image via iStockPhoto.)

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