Senate approves Pavlov bills protecting student privacy

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved bills sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov to protect student privacy and regulate how student data is shared.

“These days, education is being conducted online and digitally more than ever, and it becomes easier every day to collect, store and share vast amounts of data,” said Pavlov, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. “This is a growing area of concern for students, and it should concern everyone interested in safeguarding private information.”

Senate Bill 33 would prohibit the Michigan Department of Education, the state Center for Educational Performance and Information and school districts from selling personally identifiable information in a student’s education records to any for-profit business.

SB 510 would create the Student Online Personal Protection Act. The law would establish a number of requirements for operators of K-12 Internet websites, online services, online applications and mobile applications.

These websites, online services and applications would be prohibited from using targeted advertising, building a profile about a student, selling a student’s information and disclosing information about the student unless it’s for legal, regulatory, judicial or safety reasons.

They would also be required to protect student information through reasonable security procedures and to delete a student’s personally identifiable information if the school or district requests deletion of the data.

“Students, families and educators deserve a safe online environment where they are able to use cutting-edge digital learning tools with confidence and without fearing their personal information will be exploited or used for the wrong reasons,” Pavlov said.

SBs 33 and 510 now head to the Michigan House for further consideration.