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FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) is federal legislation in the United States that protects the privacy of students' personally identifiable information (PII). The act applies to all educational institutions that receive federal funds. FERPA states that parents of students under 18, or eligible students that are over 18 or those who have matriculated to an educational institution above high school be allowed to view and propose amendments to their educational records. The act also mandates that schools must obtain written permission from parents or eligible students in order to release a student's PII.

There are a few exceptions regarding who may receive records without written permission. Exceptions include:

· Legitimate requests from school officials.

· Requests from schools to which a student is transferring.

· Cases of 'directory information,' defined as "information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed," such as name, address, telephone number and date of birth.

Every educational institution is required to notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The notice can take any form the institution or agency considers appropriate, but must explain how a parent or eligible student may:

· Exercise the right to review education records.

· Correct inaccurate, misleading, or privacy-violating information in their education records.

· Consent to disclosure of a student's personally identifiable information.

· File a complaint concerning the failure of a school to comply with FERPA's requirements

Thus, the FERPA act is important to the educational businesses as they protect the private information. Also, these procedures would help the business increase their credibility.


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