Student Data Protection in the State of Nevada
Nevada’s SB 463 is a student data protection and personal privacy law that was passed in 2015. The law establishes the responsibilities and obligations that educators, school administrators, and school service providers within the state of Nevada have in relation to protecting the personal information and privacy of K-12 students within the state. These responsibilities include implementing safeguards for the purpose of protecting the personal data of students, as well as ensuring that the personal data of students is only disclosed for specific purposes, among others. What’s more, the law also establishes the penalties that educators and school service providers stand to face should they violate any of the provisions of the law.
How are school services defined under the law?
Under the provisions of Nevada’s SB 463, a school service is defined as “an Internet website, online service or mobile application that: (a) Collects or maintains personally identifiable information concerning a pupil; (b) Is used primarily for educational purposes; and (c) Is designed and marketed for use in public schools and is used at the direction of teachers and other educational personnel.” On the other end of the spectrum, the law defines a school service provider as “a person that operates a school service, to the extent the provider is operating in that capacity. ”
What are the duties of school service providers under the law?
The student data and privacy protection duties that educators and school service providers have under Nevada’s SB 463 include but are not limited to:
- Prior to implementing a school service, school service providers are required to provide teachers, board of trustee members, students, and parents with written disclosure concerning the types of personal data that will be collected from students, how this data will be used, and a plan outlining the steps and measures that will be taken to protect this data, among other pertinent details.
- School service providers are responsible for establishing a process that will enable students and their families to correct any personal data concerning said students that has been found to be incomplete or inaccurate.
- School service providers may only disclose or transfer the personal data of students for specific school purposes, as defined under the law.
- School service providers are forbidden from using the personal data of students to engage in targeted advertising.
- In instances where a school service provider wishes to transfer the personal data of a student to a third party, the provider in question must provide written notice to all relevant parties.
- School service providers are responsible for deleting the personal data of a student within 30 days of receiving such a request from the school district or board of trustees in which the student attends school.
What types of personal data are protected by the law?
Nevada’s SB 463 protects the following types of personal data from unauthorized collection, use, access, and disclosure:
- First and last names.
- Email addresses.
- Physical addresses.
- Telephone numbers
- Dates and places of birth.
- Enrollment status.
- Dates of enrollment.
- Grades and grade point averages.
- Transcript data.
- Assessment results.
- Degrees and awards received.
- Participation in sports and officially recognized activities.
- Fields of study.
- Survey results.
What are the penalties for violating Nevada’s SB 463?
The provisions set forth in Nevada’s SB 463 are enforced by the Nevada attorney general. With this being said, the Nevada attorney general has the authority to impose a wide range of sanctions and penalties against school service providers, teachers, and other related school staff members that are found to be in violation of the law. Most notably, individuals that fail to comply with the law are subject to a monetary penalty of up to $5,000 per violation. What’s more, teachers and school administrators that are found to be in violation of the law may also be suspended, demoted, dismissed, or reemployed. Additionally, teachers and school administrators that violate the law may also be subject to a criminal conviction or felony under certain circumstances.
As the privacy of K-12 students within the U.S. continues to be an ever-increasing issue due to the risks of online and digital communication, Nevada’s SB 463 provides parents and guardians within the state with a legal framework to protect the personal data of their respective children. In contrast to many other student data privacy laws around the country, school service providers, school administrators, and teachers alike all stand to face steep monetary and criminal penalties should they be found to be in violation of the law. In this way, students within the state of Nevada are afforded a strong level of data and privacy protection.