About Us

The U.S. Department of Education’s Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of federal laws relating to the privacy of students’ education records, and for the provision of technical assistance on student privacy issues for the broader education community. For more information about the office's other functions, please visit SPPO's page on ED.gov.  SPPO’s student privacy functions are divided across two focus areas, providing guidance and best practices, and administering federal education privacy laws.  The SPPO is responsible for;

- investigating and enforcing complaints from parents and eligible students relating to their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).  SPPO also provides technical assistance to parents and students who feel their rights under FERPA or PPRA may have been violated.
- developing policy and guidance on long-standing and emerging student privacy policy issues, and for providing general and targeted technical assistance to educational agencies and institutions, and the broader education community on issues relating to statutory and regulatory compliance, as well as best practices for protecting student privacy beyond compliance with Federal requirements.

The Department’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), located within the Student Privacy Policy Office, was established in 2010 as a “one-stop” resource for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student-level data systems and other uses of student data.  PTAC’s primary role is the provision of the following services:

  • operating a Student Privacy Help Desk, offering assistance on complex student privacy issues to the education community via phone or email;
  • developing privacy and security training materials for States and districts;
  • issuing privacy and security best practice recommendations, including issue briefs and checklists;
  • conducting technical assistance site visits to SEAs and LEAs; and
  • hosting privacy-focused regional meetings and lessons learned forums for education stakeholders.

Bios for the PTAC leadership can be found here