Student complaints about data security have been addressed


Paolo Cesar

Rhetoric surrounding data security has done nothing but expand in our constantly-developing technological age. The Compliance, Ethics and Risk Oversight Committee met Tuesday in Petway Hall to discuss updates for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, focusing specifically on the protection of student data and involvement.

The committee covered bylaws with an emphasis on better representation of the campus, welcoming their new appointees and going over the last meeting’s minutes and updates. The conference then began discussions concerning FERPA compliance with guest Charles ‘Chad’ Leacher.

According to Leacher, training faculty members occurred in 20 sessions over the course of 2018, with a focus on “legitimate business needs” and addressing student complaints and data security. Key among his points were ‘shadow databases’, and emphasis on quizzes for faculty education and increased student involvement.

Another point of training concerned availability, i.e. ‘faculty members providing information’ whenever possible. This also raised proposals for personalized faculty training and protecting student data.

Key in this discussion was confidentiality for the students, Leacher explained.

“FERPA allows – we mean, we inform students that we share student data for this purpose, this purpose, and this purpose, and allow students to opt out of giving info,” Leacher said. “If students want more confidentiality, we don’t send it out.”

The committee expanded on the details of what confidentiality and sharing student data would entail, such as what data students would choose to keep confidential, access for guardians and parents, and how it would affect this process.

The conference ended on further emphasis of training, assistance in data protection, and encouraging students to become actively involved in the FERPA process. 

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected]