USED Document Says Tech Providers CANNOT Require You To Waive Your FERPA Rights

USED Document Says Tech Providers CANNOT Require You To Waive Your FERPA Rights

- in Grumpy Educators, Opinionated News

We’ll take any ray of hope, no matter how small, at this point when it comes to being able to protect our children’s privacy. That ray came in a complaint finding letter issued November 2017 from the U.S. Dept of Education which reaffirmed

“A parent or eligible student cannot be required to waive the rights and protections accorded under FERPA as a condition of acceptance into an educational institution or receipt of educational training or services.”

The statement by the Family Policy Compliance Office was in response to a case filed back in 2012 (you gotta love the speed of public bureaucracy) against Agora Cyber Charter School, an online public charter K-12 school based in Pennsylvania. As part of enrollment, families were asked to sign off on Agora’s Terms of Use policy which included this gem:

by posting or submitting Member Content to this Site, you grant K12 and its affiliates and licensees the right to use, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, distribute, have distributed, and promote the content in any form, anywhere and for any purpose.

Agora didn’t claim ownership of the student’s submitted work, but they did try to retain the unfettered ability to use it for their own corporate purposes such as marketing or product development. More concerning than children being used for free labor is the fact that the member content they refer to also included registration data, and other forms of student personally identifiable information (PII). They also tried to claim the right to share such data with“future employers of the student” without express permission[…]

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