On April 29, 2015, H.R. 2092, the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act was introduced in the House by Representatives Luke Messer (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill focuses on operators of online school services and has a stated purpose of providing privacy and data security protections to personally identifiable information.

H.R.2092 would prohibit targeted advertising on school services and the use of students’ information for targeted advertising. The bill would not preempt state laws. Other provisions of the bill include: a prohibition on the creation of personal profiles of students for nonschool related purposes; a requirement for operators to publicly disclose to schools the types of information they collect and how it is used; the imposition of data breach obligations on operators; and the granting of parents a right of access, correction, and deletion of their students’ information. The bill that would allow school service providers to use information for adaptive or personalized student learning purposes. Such providers would also be permitted by the bill to use such information for improving operators’ school services. The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission civil penalty authority under 15 U.S.C. § 57a(a)(1)(B). The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where it awaits further action.

In the Senate, a student privacy bill was also recently introduced. On May 13, 2015, Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) unveiled S. 1322, the Protecting Student Privacy Act, a bill that was introduced previously in the 113th Congress. The stated purpose of the bill is to amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to help protect student data handled by private entities.

Among other provisions, S.1322 would: impose information security requirements on personally identifiable information from education records held by educational agencies and institutions as well as private companies; prohibit use or sharing of students’ personally identifiable information for advertising or marketing; grant parents a right to access and correct their students’ personally identifiable information held by private companies; require maintenance of a record of those who have requested or accessed students’ education records; and promote data minimization and destruction policies. S. 1322 has been referred to the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, where it awaits further action.