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Utah Funds Student Data Privacy Office to Support School Systems

Like many states, Utah has recently updated its student data privacy laws. In 2015, Utah passed HB 68, which required the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) to make recommendations for updating existing privacy lawsand, critically, to develop a funding proposal to implement data privacy changes. This work led to the Student Data Protection Act in 2016, which includes requirements for local educational agencies, state educational agencies, and third-party vendors. Part of Utah’s privacy efforts was the decision to create and sustainably fund a Student Data Privacy Office. In addition to a Chief Privacy Officer, the office includes a student data privacy auditor, a student data privacy project manager, and a student data privacy trainer. This combination of funding, legislation, and dedicated experts has created a sustainable student privacy system that provides local educational agency student privacy training, resources, and reporting. One case study about Utah’s student data privacy attributes Utah’s success to methodical collaboration between state and local leaders, ongoing dedicated funding for dedicated staff, and continual improvement. “Mandated training at the state (tied to teacher relicensure) and local levels, ongoing reporting requirements, and the development and distribution of high-quality resources by USBE’s dedicated staff all serve to keep privacy top of mind.”