As children return to school, parents are often swamped with forms and informational packets. One of them, however, is something that you really need to pay attention to if you want to protect your child’s privacy.
Under FERPA, schools that receive public education funds must notify parents every year as to what types of information the school district considers “Directory Information” that they can share with others – without your knowledge or consent – unless you opt out of information sharing.
Given how massive databases compile more and more data about ourselves and our children, and given that you do not know how that information may be used against your child in the future, you may want to be cautious and opt your child OUT of sharing of directory information.
Remember: if you do not actively opt your child out by returning the opt out form, they will be able to share lots of information about your child without your consent throughout the school year. Read the form they provide and then decide what is best for your child.
Keep in mind that opting out of sharing directory information has nothing to do with opting out of Common Core testing. They are totally separate issues.
For more information on the dangers of directory information sharing, see this informative site from the World Privacy Forum.
If your child is over the age of 18 or attends college, they will receive the notice about directory information and the opt-out form. Remind them to look for it.