Illinois Student Data Privacy Bill Signed

On August 24, 2017, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 1796, the student data privacy bill. Thanks to years of hard work Senator Michael Hastings brought together a working group including technology providers, school districts, and associated organizations to work on this important legislation that protects the data created by students in the classroom.

This bi-partisan supported, agreed-upon bill sailed through the Senate unopposed and landed on the Governor’s desk in late May.  Senate Bill 1796 takes an important step in mandating the safety and security of data generated by students in the classroom.  As a compliment to the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and the Illinois School Student Records Act, the bill regulates providers and protects students as they use educational technology products. 

Through this legislation, education technology providers are prohibited from advertising to students on their website or service and from using data collected through use of their product for any advertising purposes.  Ensuring that learning is priority allows students to use technology to enhance the classroom experience. The bill also prohibits companies from profiting off the collection of student data and from taking data generated and amassing a profile of information about the student, except in furtherance of use of the product. This will enable children to follow their education as they go, without worry that information will be used to target students in the future.

This bill is supported by industry and mirrors the student privacy pledge which has over 300 signatories. CompTIA is delighted at the passage of this bill and its immediate effectiveness. A job well done to all involved!

Alexi Madon is the CompTIA director of State Government Affairs –Midwest