SIIA Letter on Texas HB 18

Texas was among the first in a wave of states to pass important legislation protecting student data privacy in 2017 which, among other things, bans the use of student data for targeted advertising and bans the sale of student data. Education technology tools used in schools and within the bounds of the existent student privacy laws often include things like parent messaging tools and email platforms, which are critical for timely communications between parents, school administrators, and teachers, as well as with students requesting after-school help from teachers, simple reading materials, and the required formative and summative assessments. This bill does not consider the current framework of strong laws in Texas protecting both student privacy and cybersecurity that may conflict with this proposed legislation. If passed without proper considerations, compliance with all may become impossible, leading to confusion for schools trying to uphold their obligations to protect student privacy. We believe changes need to be made to align with the laws already in place. We urge policymakers to refine language reflecting that data covered by Texas’s student privacy and certain cybersecurity laws to be exempt from this legislation.

We are grateful for your efforts to help parents, teachers, school administrators, and all Texas play a role in protecting kids. We urge lawmakers to work on bipartisan language that takes a risk-based, proportional approach, allowing for important protections for all Texans. Thank you for your time.

Comments are closed.