Privacy in Education: Guide for Parents and Adult-Age Students


Fact Sheet 29Privacy in Education:
Guide for Parents and Adult-Age Students

As soon as your child enters preschool, information is collected about him or her. The body of information grows throughout the child's academic career.

School records contain highly sensitive information, even information about the family. The contents of student files are likely to have an impact on the overall educational experience of students. That is why it is wise for parents and adult-age students to be informed about laws and policies that govern student information.

Privacy abuses can range from grades bandied about in hallways to the nonconsensual exposure of student information and photos on the Internet. In today’s climate of heightened security, it is more important than ever for parents and adult-age students to be vigilant about who has access to education records.

It's Back-to-School Time: Parents, Do You Know Where Your Child's School Records Are?


The PRC advises parents to pay close attention to documents and forms that students bring home from school. Among them is likely to be an opt-out form regarding the disclosure of students' education records. But if the parent does not sign the form instructing the school to NOT disclose the student's personal information to others, the school is free to release "directoy information." Directory information is NOT a small category. It can include the student's name, address, phone number, and date of birth, as well as major field of study, activities and sports, weight and height if on athletic teams, dates of attendance, and degrees and awards.

Financial Literacy and Education Campaign Strategies


Financial literacy should start early. Fundamental concepts such as the need for savings should be started in elementary school and be carried through the educational process.

Unfortunately, dysfunctional concepts such as “easy credit” are often instilled as college-age students are lured with multiple credit card offers and as television advertisements portray “the good life” as being fueled with credit card accounts. With the average household credit card indebtedness estimated at $9,000, these messages need to be countered early on with education about the responsible uses of credit.

College and University Privacy Issues: Social Security Numbers and Smart Cards


Overview: There are many privacy issues facing colleges and universities today. This presentation covers only the first two below:

  • SSNs as student identification numbers
    - Identity theft and other security issues
  • Multi-purpose "smart" cards, privacy implications
  • Violence profiling
  • Weapons searches
  • Drug testing
  • E-mail, Internet uses, websites, acceptable use policy
  • Records disclosure

Privacy Today: A Review of Current Issues


The purpose of this report is to highlight and summarize key privacy issues affecting consumers today and tomorrow. Readers who want to explore issues in depth should visit the Web sites of government agencies, public interest groups, industry associations, and companies. A list of public interest groups that are working on these issues is provided at the end of the report.

The Secure Transcript: Survey of U.S. Universities' Use of the SSN on Academic Transcripts (Titus)


Most universities have moved away from using students' Social Security Numbers as their Student ID, but because the SSN continues to be a convenient identification number, ancillary higher education organizations, such as lending institutions, continue to use the SSN as a universal identification number.  As a result, some universities which have otherwise discontinued using the SSN as a student ID, continue to print the student's SSN on academic transcripts and official documentation.

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