The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that governs parents (until the student reaches 18) the right to have access to their child's education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records. In higher education, the student, and not the parent, controls access to their records. The FERPA statute is found at 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and the FERPA regulations are found at 34 CFR Part 99.
Personally Identifiable Information may be released only to the student, as long as the student has produced the proper identification.
If a recording includes only the instructor, it is not a student record and FERPA will not come into play.
If the recording includes students asking questions, making presentations or leading a class, and it is possible to identify the student, then the portions containing recordings of the student fall under FERPA. Educational records can only be used as permitted by FERPA or in a manner allowed by a written consent from the student.
If access is limited to other students in the class, FERPA does not limit or prevent its use and does not require obtaining a written consent.
It is a best practice to inform students that a recording is being made, if the recording can be viewed, and the persons who might be viewing it (within FERPA allowances)
Douglas K. Burgess, PhD
Assistant VP & University Registrar
Lorren J. Ratley
Director Privacy, Office of the General Counsel
Faculty and staff accessing and storing confidential information in unsecure locations (e.g., flash drives, public or home computers, etc.) create the risk of unauthorized access to protected education records.
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