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Answers to Common FERPA Questions During COVID-19 Pandemic

Are there FERPA concerns with using technology we normally don’t use?

FERPA applies to education records independent of technology. You must make sure the technology you use protects the record and information. Only authorized “school officials” with a “legitimate educational” interest can access a student’s education record and data without the written consent of the student, and only the data they need in order to carry out their job duties can be shared. Unauthorized, or third parties, should not be able to access any information through your technology use. Proper safeguards need to be a part of any technology used.

How do I protect student records when working from home?

Where possible, use university-provided computers with Virtual Private Network (VPN)enabled. You need to make sure family members and others in your home cannot see your screen or any documents you may be working on that include FERPA protected data.

Can I record and share a virtual recording?

Faculty may record synchronous and asynchronous remote classes conducted through platforms like Zoom as a convenience for students who wish to review material and for those located in a different time zone. Faculty may share a recording of a remote class only with students registered for that section, otherwise written permission is required from all students in that section.

With Whom can I share COVID-19 infection information?

If you are talking about student COVID-19 infections, that depends on where and how you know that. Remember that releasing information under the “health and safety emergency” exception is allowable but with some caveats. You must record what the emergency is, and what information you shared and with whom you shared it, and that record needs to become part of the student’s permanent record. Additionally, you can only share what is needed to alleviate the emergency, and only to such individuals who need to know to alleviate the emergency.

Questions or Concerns

Laura Hinton
Access and Compliance Coordinator

B-150 ASB