Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

This year has been a busy year for education law in the area of data privacy. Educational institutions continue to be a rich target for hackers. Additionally, there were some important developments in the interpretation of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) as it applies to educational institutions.

  • In December, DeVry University Settled with the FTC for $100 million over allegations that it misled prospective students with ads that promised higher employment success and income upon graduation.
  • Also in December, UMass Amherst settled with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for $650,000 for HIPAA violations related to a malware infection that led to the release of names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, health insurance information, diagnoses, and procedure codes.
  • In November, a hacker gained access to 1,213 records of applicants to the University of Wisconsin Law School.
  • On September 14, 2016, the Department of Education (DOE) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” providing guidance on the application of FERPA to the disclosure of student medical records in the context of litigation.


Continue Reading Top Ten Education Developments, Breaches, and Settlements of 2016

On September 14, 2016, the Department of Education (DOE) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” to provide guidance on the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the disclosure of student medical records in the context of litigation.

FERPA generally prohibits a school from disclosing personally identifiable information from a student’s education

On August 11, 2016, a Florida state court judge held that the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees (UCF) must produce budget request forms and activity and service fee database records to Knight News, Inc. (KNI) in response to KNI’s public records request. The records indicate the amount of money paid to each student

A federal judge in North Carolina sealed a transcript of a University of North Carolina (UNC) hearing to determine whether the plaintiff was responsible for committing sexual acts without consent. In the case in question, the defendant brought suit against UNC, Jane Doe, and various school administrators after the Administrative Judicial Board found him responsible

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently held a hearing to evaluate federal policies affecting education research and student privacy. At issue is whether and how Congress will update the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects student education records and provides how state and local education agencies collect and

In recent months, the White House and members of Congress have called for an overhaul of the forty-year old Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) ((20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), which safeguards the privacy of students’ educational records.

Originally enacted in 1974, FERPA applies only to federal funded elementary, secondary and