Virginia Republicans to Introduce Student Privacy Legislation

Virginia state delegates Joseph Yost (R-Giles) and Tony Wilt (R-Harrisburg) plan to introduce legislation to protect student privacy by prohibiting state colleges and universities from releasing student directory information to third parties without explicit permission from students, reports The Augusta Free Press.

The move comes as a response to a progressive political group using Virginia's Freedom of Information Act to obtain thousands of college students' cell phone numbers for campaign purposes, reports The Roanoke Times.

"Students have a clear and rightful expectation to privacy, and the idea that colleges and universities routinely release personal information to outside third party groups is shocking and frightening," Yost told the Free Press. "Students should not have to jump through hoops to protect their own personal and private information. And that information should most certainly not be given freely to political groups seeking to exploit student’s personal information."

According to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), college may release students' directory information unless that student explicitly opts out. The proposed legislation will require students to explicitly opt in, in writing, before a college or university can release their information to a third party.

As reported by the Times, the delegates plan to file the legislation ahead of Virginia's 2018 General Assembly session.


Related Links

The Augusta Free Press

The Roanoke Times