Student Data Privacy, and Everyone Else’s

As reported by The Baltimore Sun, Carroll County Public Schools have requested feedback on their current data privacy policy. Meanwhile, county and State leadership plan a discussion in the wake of data privacy legislation introduced in the General Assembly in 2019.

The County School System’s data privacy policy was first implemented in September 2015, following the passage of The Student Data Privacy Act of 2015. See The Baltimore Sun‘s coverage, Carroll County school system updates cellphone policy, seeks input on handling student data.

The policy establishes standards and procedures for protecting personally identifiable student information while using digital tools. The policy creates a Tech Request Review Team that reviews all digital tools for data privacy concerns.

Maryland’s Secretary of the Department of Information Technology is interested in raising standards for data privacy in Maryland. Secretary Leahy will be the lead panelist in a session on this topic at the Maryland Association of Counties’ Conference.

While student data privacy raises unique concerns, data privacy is a top priority for all public sector institutions, not just schools. The public sector inevitably handles a wide range of personally identifiable information (PII) and other data, both belonging to government employees, and residents who interact with government entities in a variety of ways, including paying bills, applying for licenses, getting married, or going to court.

Maryland county governments regularly review data privacy policies and practices and consult federal guidelines and best practices. MACo shared this background during consideration of legislation to apply federal guidelines in data privacy to state and local governments in the 2019 session. While the legislation ultimately failed, MACo is continuing this important conversation with an educational session at the Maryland Association of Counties’ Conference this August.

The MACo Conference session, Held Hostage: Protecting Your Data From Cyberattacks, will include Secretary Leahy of the Maryland Department of Information Technology as a lead panelist. It will be held on August 14, from 2:30 – 3:30 pm at the Ocean City Convention Center. More information about the data privacy session.

The 2019 MACo Summer Conference is August 14-17 at the Ocean City Convention Center. This year’s theme is “Winds of Change.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: