Privacy and Data Sharing

Educational institutions across the country rely on sharing data, often sharing student information with those outside the school or district in order to improve classroom instruction, to measure student outcomes, and facilitate implementation of educational applications to evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs. While the general rule under FERPA is that personally identifiable information from education records cannot be disclosed without written consent, FERPA includes exceptions that permit data sharing under certain conditions with agencies, vendors, or individuals to conduct studies, audit or evaluate programs, enforce or comply with related Federal legal requirements, or in the case of arespond to health or safety emergencies. In addition, in some circumstances, FERPA allows educational institutions to share these data student information with contractors, volunteers, or other individuals performing services for the educational institution. In many cases, written agreements and must be developed to protect student data, and the requirements differ depending on the conditions and parties involved. The following resources address the topic of data sharing, and are intended to provide best practices and legal requirements for protecting student privacy while sharing data between educational agencies and partner organizations and other third parties: