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Bill To Protect K-12 Students’ Online Records Passes State Legislature

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Students work in a computer lab. (Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images)

Students work in a computer lab. (Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images)

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SANTA CLARA (KCBS)— California’s state legislature passed a bill whose goal is to protect K-12 students from marketers and identity thieves, which is now headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

Dubbed the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act, SB 1177 would prohibit the disclosure and sale of schools’ online student data, making it the nation’s toughest student privacy bill.

“I think that most parents would agree that student information should be kept confidential unless the kids or the parents want it revealed,” said KCBS Technology Analyst Larry Magid.

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“The fact is that now a lot of companies are now involved in providing educational resources, often with Internet or cloud-based services. Both privacy and security of online student data are becoming increasingly important,” he said.

Many schools are outsourcing the management of student records to private companies.

Crista Sumanik with Common Sense Media which has been lobbying for the bill and said it sends a strong message to companies that hope to profit from student data.

If signed by Gov. Brown, the bill would require that educational data be kept secure.

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