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Wilton's Lavielle Applauds Unanimous Support For Student Privacy Bill

State Rep. Gail Lavielle
State Rep. Gail Lavielle Photo Credit: Contributed

HARTFORD, Conn. – State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143rd District) applauded the recent passage of a bill protecting the privacy of K-12 student data by the General Assembly's Education Committee.

Both of the committee's co-chairs agreed to raise a committee bill, HB 7017, based on a concept bill introduced earlier in the session by Lavielle, who represents Norwalk, Westport and Wilton. The bill received the unanimous vote of the members of the Education Committee.

Speaking about parental concerns of how their children are being tracked in school, Rep. Lavielle said: “They want to make sure that personally identifiable information about their children is not being obtained without their knowledge or improperly used by third parties.

"This bill will go a long way toward protecting the privacy of academic, behavioral, and other personal student information that should be used only for educational purposes.”

Lavielle noted that parents’ concerns have been exacerbated by the rapid development of technology and the increasingly widespread use by public schools and education systems of third-party providers for collecting and analyzing student information.

HB 7017 covers several key areas:

  • It requires all contracts between the state Department of Education and state or local boards of education and providers of educational software or data services to specify clearly that student records must not be used for anything other than educational purposes. The contracts must also include descriptions of security and notification measures that the providers must respect.
  • It prohibits third-party operators of online or Internet services from selling personally identifiable student data, from disclosing it to other third parties, and from using it for advertising purposes or for creating individual student profiles.
  • It requires third-party providers to report any breach of student data security within 48 hours.
  • It allows a local or regional board of education to refuse to grant any request by a person or an organization for student directory information if it determines that the request is not related to school purposes.

HB 7017 is expected to move forward for consideration by the full House of Representatives and Senate. The 2015 legislative season ends June 3.

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