Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today testified before the Senate Education Committee in support of SB 187, or the Oregon Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (OSIPA). The legislation would prevent third-party vendors who contract with a school from selling student data, using the data for advertisements, or from creating a profile of a student for a non-educational purpose. The bill would still allow schools and educational technology providers to continue to use a student’s information for school-related purposes.
“At its core, OSIPA is very simple. This bill does not limit the legitimate use of students’ data by schools or teachers. It should be the policy of Oregon that the information you gather from students should be used for their educational benefit and for nothing else,” testified Attorney General Rosenblum.
Today, many schools and teachers use software and other online tools to help track student grades, preferences, homework and progress. These tools are extremely helpful to students, parents and teachers, but if the data is used inappropriately, the online records can follow a child throughout their life. Some of the collection of data is already protected by the Family Educations Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, which prohibits the disclosures of standardized test scores, disciplinary history and other official student records, but it does not protect other student online data.
“A student’s data is of tremendous value to educators, allowing them to better identify students who might be struggling in a particular subject. But all of this data also has real commercial value: It can be used to target ads to the students and their families, or to build profiles with the potential to follow students from K through 12 and beyond. Some tech companies can collect millions of data points a day on a child, and that information needs to be protected.” continued Attorney General Rosenblum.
Kristina Edmunson, Department of Justice, Kristina.Edmunson@doj.state.or.us, 503-378-6002