Introducing…Student Privacy Compass!

Introducing…Student Privacy Compass!

Today, we are excited to announce our transition from the FERPA|Sherpa to Student Privacy Compass!

When the Future of Privacy Forum launched FERPA|Sherpa in 2014, our top priority was helping schools, education stakeholders, and policymakers in the U.S. better understand the implications and requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act – the core federal law that governs education privacy. In the years since, our work has evolved considerably as the conversation around protecting student privacy has gained traction nationwide, education technologies have become more ubiquitous in schools, and more than 40 states passed 130 laws that relate to student privacy. Our international work on student privacy has expanded as well: over the past two years, FPF staff have provided expertise and guidance to organizations like OECD and UNESCO, and we are creating more internationally focused resources and sharing content from international experts.

When we began to think of new names to reflect our expanded scope, we wanted to reflect our role as both a provider of content, as well as a resource center where stakeholders could come to find whatever student privacy information or resources they needed. As we brainstormed, “Compass” quickly came to the top of the list. We want to be a reliable tool that stakeholders can come back to again and again, we want to be a source to point you to the right information when you need it, and we want that information to be easy to access, interpret, and use in your day-to-day work. Though we will miss our rhyming name, Student Privacy Compass is a better descriptor of both what our site is and what we want it to be.

We know, however, that many of you are using links to our previous site, and we want to make the transition easy for you: all FERPA|Sherpa links should redirect to their corresponding pages on Let us know if you get a broken link through our contact form.

On the new Student Privacy Compass website, users can still find:

  • Guidance and Resources on Student Privacy and COVID-19: This webpage links both new FPF student privacy and COVID-19 resources and resources from other organizations on student privacy and security resources.
  • All State Student Privacy Laws Passed Since 2013: This list of state legislation provides a summary of the laws and the stakeholders that they seek to regulate.
  • Blogs from FPF and Key Stakeholders: Our blog provides both FPF perspectives on student privacy issues as well as articles from various stakeholders including students, parents, and educators.
  • Educational Materials for Students: Students can take the initiative and explore these resources in order to better understand how their data may be used by others and what kinds of choices they have in protecting their personal information.
  • Resources for Parents: As technology expands in the classroom, parents need to know how their child’s data is used—and what schools and their partners have pledged to do with it.
  • Recommendations for Educators: From ensuring sufficient passwords to selecting privacy-protective apps to teaching students about digital citizenship, educators have an essential role to play in securing student information.
  • Insights for State and Federal Policymakers: As policymakers work to update the laws and regulations dealing with student data, there are numerous lessons to learn from efforts at the state and federal levels, as well as the policy positions of leading education organizations.

The site also has specific webpages for local education agencies, state education agencies, higher education institutions, edtech companies, and lawyers. FPF will continue to expand the site to provide new resources for our expanded international audiences.

We hope you’ll take a moment to explore these pages for different stakeholders, as well as our searchable resource center designed to help inform the education privacy conversation happening in communities nationwide. And while you’re on the site, please feel free to use the contact form to let us know of any questions you may have, or of any requests for additional resources that would be helpful.

After all, our goal for Student Privacy Compass is to ensure those on the frontlines of education privacy have access to valuable information and news necessary to protect and preserve student data.

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