Idaho enacts new law to secure student information

Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter signed a measure into law on Thursday that is intended to help keep private student information secure.

“Technology affords us unprecedented ability to assess the progress of our students and better address their needs,” Otter said. “We also face legitimate and understandable concerns about protecting that information from those who might misuse it. This law places Idaho among the nation’s leaders in monitoring, securing and protecting that data from the federal government, or any other entity.”

The Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act calls for development of a security plan and steps to ensure that the plan is administered. The measure also requires an annual report on new data requirements, changes in federal reporting requirements, policy exceptions and security audit results to the governor and state legislature.

State Sen. John Goedde (R-Coeur d’Alene), the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education will develop the security plan.

“Legislators across the country share concerns about the security and use of data collected on K-12 students,” Goedde, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said. “I believe that (the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act) puts Idaho at the forefront of this effort. The bill and the collaborative process that led stakeholders to move it forward already are models to which other states are looking. Parents and students should rest easier with this legislation in place.”