U.S. Department of Education Announces New Privacy Technical Assistance Center

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the newly established Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), a one-stop information source for states and districts involved in developing Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDSs). PTAC staff will disseminate information on issues of privacy, confidentiality, and security, answer individual questions, conduct training, and, as appropriate, refer questions to experts at ED. The PTAC will be overseen by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in collaboration with the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO), Office of the General Counsel, and other Department staff and offices.

The PTAC is one of a number of new efforts by the ED to support the field. For example, NCES will begin issue a series of Technical Briefs on the requirements of current privacy laws and regulations, as well as best practices in the field. Topics will include disclosure protection for personally identifiable information, statistical methods for protecting such information, data stewardship, electronic data security, and maintaining protection with data sharing. ED plans to pull the briefs together into Non-Regulatory Guidance documents for states.

Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.

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