Students using school-issued laptops, tablets, and other devices could know their data has special protections in state law.
Sponsored by Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton), HF1507, dubbed the “Student Data Privacy Act,” would amend the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act with a series of provisions restricting access to data on devices schools loan to students.
The House Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee held an informational hearing on the bill Thursday. The companion, SF1961, sponsored by Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), awaits action by the Senate E-12 Policy Committee.
Lucero and Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover), the committee chair, said work on the bill would continue over the interim with hopes of further advancing the legislation in 2018.
Students’ personal data is in danger from “Big Data,” Lucero said, referring to the collection and mining of data by third-party, for-profit companies such as those who provide devices to school districts for student use.
Ben Feist, legislative director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, said the bill would “empower parents and children to decide who they want to share personal information with.” Among the types of data Feist said could potentially be for sale: grades, Social Security numbers, disability status, disciplinary records, whether students received remedial help and qualified for free or reduced-price lunch.
Margaret Westin, general counsel at Osseo Public Schools, has concerns about several aspects of the bill, particularly a provision that would make student data-sharing decisions opt-in rather than opt-out. That could lead to a separate cumbersome paper-only system of recordkeeping for some students, she said.
Lucero said his intent is not to hamper the day-to-day recordkeeping within the school, but what happens to personal information that travels outside the school.
“This is about the data. This is about who is in control,” Lucero said. “Should it be the parents and the students, or should it be the government and the business making those decisions?”
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to use mediation to resolve a funding dispute. In an opinion issued Friday, the court also ruled that Dayton’s use of the line-item veto to strip biennial funding for the Legislature was constitutional.
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution.
House and Senate leadership OK a resolution to seek outside legal representation in an effort to restore funding for the Legislature that Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed earlier this week.
Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.
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