Student Data Protection Legislation in the State of Wyoming

Student Data Protection Legislation in the State of Wyoming

Wyoming’s HB 08 is a student data protection law that was passed in 2017. As many states around the country have drafted and implemented new legislation in the past few years to protect the personal information of students that attends schools within said states, Wyoming’s HB 08 was enacted for the purpose of amending and updating the requirements that educators, school administrators, and other related personnel must abide by when collecting, using, or disclosing personal data relating to students. More specifically, the law prohibits educators within the state from using personal information obtained from students for any purpose other than the fulfillment of their educational obligations.

What are the duties of educators under the law?

The duties that school districts and educators have under Wyoming’s HB 08 in regard to safeguarding the personal information of the various students they serve on a daily basis include:

Authorization and authentication mechanisms

In addition to the requirements stated above, school districts that serve children enrolled in K-12 institutions around the state are also responsible for creating and maintaining authorization and authentication mechanisms that can be used to verify student data. These mechanisms include the following:

Alternatively, the data elements concerning K-12 students within the state of Wyoming that are protected under the law, in conjunction with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), include but are not limited to:

Working to comply with the law

As the obligations that school districts have under Wyoming’s HB 08 are numerous, ensuring the personal data of students within the state is safeguarded from foul play, while also using this information to aid students in achieving their educational goals can prove to be a challenging task. With all this being said, one way in which educators within Wyoming can tackle such issues is to invest in an automatic redaction software program. These software programs effectively allow users to render specific data elements, such as social security numbers, inaccessible, guaranteeing that they cannot be used for nefarious purposes. Conversely, the automatic redaction functionality of these programs also allows educators to save valuable time and resources when looking to protect student data.

As students within the U.S. will be forced to disclose personal information concerning not only themselves, but also their family members, when looking to advance their academic careers, legislation such as Wyoming’s HB 08 serves to both regulate and govern this massive flow of information. In lieu of a federal comprehensive data privacy law, such as the EU’s General Data Protection or GDPR, laws such as Wyoming’s HB 08 play a huge role in protecting the personal privacy of citizens that reside in the multitude of jurisdictions that comprise the U.S. Subsequently, the provisions of the law provide parents and guardians within Wyoming with the peace of mind that their children’s personal data is legally protected, even when they are away from school.

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