The Most Important Step You Can Take Today
to Protect Your Child's Privacy:
Opt Out of School Directory Information
If you don't act to Opt Out of directory information at your child's school, personal and identifiable information about your child may become public and can be accessed by third parties who may use it without your consent or knowledge.
Privacy researcher Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum (WPF), is spearheading a national campaign to inform parents of their right to Opt Out of directory information and to encourage them to learn more about their rights to protect their child's privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). She offers parents the information and resources they need to protect their child's privacy, along with a short video that parents and educators can share.
"Directory sharing Opt Out is important," according to Dixon, "because although directory information may sound innocuous, it can include information about each student that is quite detailed."
When you exercise your right to Opt Out you can restrict third-party access to your child's school directory information, which can include name, home address, email address, photograph, date and place of birth, and other personal information that can be used to identify your child.
Why is the right to Opt Out important? Personally identifiable information can be bought and sold easily by marketers as well as by identity thieves. And with cloud computing and mobile devices coming into greater use for education and student data storage, the risks of data leaks and breaches have become even greater.
How do you Opt Out? At the beginning of each school year, your child's school must inform you of your right as a parent or guardian under FERPA to inspect your child's school records and to Opt Out of directory information. But you can take action now. Complete and submit this sample FERPA Opt Out form to restrict access to your child's school directory information.
Learn more about FERPA and how to Opt Out. Visit WPF's information page, Student Privacy 101.
Ask your child's school today about your right to Opt Out.