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The West Virginia Department of Education Champions Student Data Privacy

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January 26, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will serve as a Data Privacy Day (DPD) Champion as the world recognizes DPD on Jan. 28, 2015. DPD, observed annually on Jan. 28, is an international awareness effort to encourage Internet users to consider the privacy implications of their online actions and to motivate all companies to make privacy and data protection a greater priority.

As a DPD Champion, the WVDE's Data Governance Office recognizes and supports the principle that organizations, businesses and government all share the responsibility of being conscientious stewards of personal information by respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust.

The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) and the WVDE have taken several actions to protect student data. For example, there are multiple protections in place that outline the roles and responsibilities of educational staff across the state. In addition to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - the federal law that all state education agencies, districts and schools must follow - West Virginia has three other formal layers of protection for students. In March of 2014 the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act (also called the Student DATA Act, introduced as HB 4316) was passed, which outlines rules and responsibilities of the WVDE, districts and schools with regard to managing student data and privacy. The WVBE's Policy 4350 also outlines the state's responsibilities, and the WVDE Data Access and Management Guidance describes the standard operating procedures followed with regard to protecting student data.

The WVDE joins the growing effort among organizations, corporations, educational institutions, government entities and municipalities globally to raise awareness and educate individuals about how personal information may be collected, the benefits and risks of sharing personal information as well as the nature and scope of online data usage. Through collaborative efforts and unified, consistent messaging about data privacy, all DPD Champions will work toward the goal of improving awareness and empowering everyone to safeguard their privacy.

Spearheaded by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), DPD began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day recognition in Europe. The day, January 28, commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty addressing privacy and data protection.

For more information about DPD, the DPD Champions program and how to participate in the activities, contact Liza Cordeiro in the WVDE Communication Office at 304-558-2699 or visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/.

You can also follow DPD on Twitter at @DataPrivacyDay and the hashtag #DPD2015. DPD updates and privacy tips are also available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DataPrivacyNCSA/.

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