The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education records and applies to all schools, colleges or universities that receive funds from the U.S. government.


Under the provisions of FERPA, educators may not disclose student data to anyone without explicit consent. The act also grants certain rights to parents as well as students who are eighteen or older. Parents have the right to request their children's education records, and this right also extends to any student over the age of eighteen.


Student data is either classified as personally identifiable information (PII) or directory information.


PII is data that can be used to identify an individual student such as name, address, social security number, and student number. Directory information is any student data that would be found in an educational record, such as grades, religious beliefs, and medical history.

Both PII and directory information should be considered sensitive data. In the wrong hands, this information can be used to directly or indirectly identify a student and place them in harm's way. This information can also be used to commit fraud or blackmail or even sold on the dark web.

Data protection tools like data masking protect your student records by masking sensitive data elements, allowing you to control access to this information.

Data masking use cases include:

  • protecting schools' and colleges' non-production environments when developing school applications

  • protect sensitive information before disclosing data to third parties

  • to hide student identities while maintaining reports

Learn more about privacy laws here.

How Hush-Hush can help with FERPA compliance

With more and more high profile data breaches affecting places of higher learning, and more universities moving to online learning, it's more important than ever to safeguard the student data in your care.

Use our Sensitive Data Discovery Tool to locate sensitive student information in your databases, then implement Data Masking to protect that data and prevent unauthorized access.

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