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Data Privacy

Laws, policies, and best practices related to both general and student data privacy at the California Department of Education. It provides data privacy information for parents, teachers, local education agencies, and the general public.
Privacy of Student Records Collected and Maintained by the California Department of Education
Statutory Authority

To meet its statutory responsibilities, the California Department of Education (CDE) collects and maintains personally identifiable information (PII) from the education records of California students. Such information may include the following:

  • Student’s name, identification number, address, race/ethnicity, gender, date of birth, place of birth, name and address of parent or guardian
  • Attendance data
  • Data regarding student progress, including grade level completed, school attended, course enrollment, academic work completed, and date of graduation
  • Standardized test scores
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Data regarding eligibility for, or participation in, school lunch programs
  • Data regarding eligibility for special education and special education services provided to the student
  • Data regarding eligibility for other compensatory programs and special program services provided to the student
The CDE adheres to the privacy requirements in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended (20 United States Code [U.S.C.] § 1232g; 34 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Part 99), The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. § 2, 1751), the California Information Practices Act (California Civil Code Section 1798 et seq.), California Business & Professions Code § 22584, California Education Code (EC) §§ 49062, 49073.1, 49073.6 et seq., section 49073.1, Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution, and all other applicable federal and state laws and regulations that safeguard education records, privacy, and confidentiality.
Data Use

Data gathered by the CDE are used for many important purposes including:

Related CDE Resources
Outside Privacy Resources

The following is a list of data privacy resources developed and maintained outside of the CDE. While not vetted or endorsed by the CDE, these resources may provide assistance in understanding and navigating data privacy laws and issues.

  • California Student Privacy Alliance External link opens in new window or tab.
    This unique collaborative of schools, districts, policy makers, privacy advocates, and professional organizations provides California’s educational stakeholders with a central location for seeing and sharing what educational technologies are being used and under what terms/conditions. Templates and sample language for contracts are provided to assist LEAs in developing state and federally-compliant educational technology contracts.
  • Common Sense Media Privacy and Internet Safety External link opens in new window or tab.
    This Web site provides age-based tips for protecting kids online
  • Common Sense Education EdTech Product Privacy Evaluations External link opens in new window or tab.
    This Web site provides privacy evaluations of over 100 commonly-used educational technology tools
  • Common Sense Media What Is… ? Videos External link opens in new window or tab.
    This Web page provides links to short videos about apps kids are using and empowers parents, educators, and students with information on how to use the apps responsibly.
  • Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
    This downloadable PDF was developed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Data Privacy Forum as a resource for state and local educational agencies (SEAs and LEAs) to use in assisting school staff in protecting the confidentiality of student data in instructional and administrative practices. SEAs and LEAs may also find the guide useful in developing privacy programs and related professional development programs.
  • Data Privacy Guidebook External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
    This downloadable PDF developed by a collaboration of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA), and others provides tips and guidance for complying with student data privacy laws and best practices.
  • The United States Department of Education’s (ED’s) Protecting Student Privacy Web site External link opens in new window or tab.
    ED established this Web site as a resource for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student data.
  • Student Privacy 101: FERPA for Parents and Students External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 4:03)
    This 4:03 minute video provides an overview of FERPA.
  • FERPA Sherpa Student Privacy Resource Center External link opens in new window or tab.
    This resource developed and maintained by the nonprofit Future of Privacy Forum focuses on student data privacy and provides information from a variety of sources.
  • Data Quality Campaign (DQC) External link opens in new window or tab.
    The DQC is an advocacy group that focuses on data privacy issues.
  • On Guard Online External link opens in new window or tab.
    This Web site, managed by the FTC in partnership with other federal agencies, provides tips to help citizens be safe, secure, and responsible online. A variety of tools for parents/guardians, educators, and the general public are provided.
  • Protect Kids Online External link opens in new window or tab.
    This is a resource developed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help parents/guardians understand and manage the risks associated with their child(ren)’s online presence.
Data Privacy Laws

Educational Data Management (EDGO) Home page.


Educational Data Management Division/Education Data Office | | 916-319-0586

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
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