Laws & Guidance GENERAL
Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

What's New

The Department of Education has released final regulations amending the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. The changes to the FERPA regulations will have the important effect of improving access to data. Improved access to data will facilitate States' ability to evaluate education programs, ensure limited resources are invested effectively, build upon what works and discard what does not, increase accountability and transparency, and contribute to a culture of innovation and continuous improvement in education.

The benefits of using student data, however, must always be balanced with the need to protect student privacy. Parents and students put their trust in the stewards of education data to ensure that students' personal information is used only for legitimate purposes and only when absolutely necessary. The Department values this trust and strives to do all it can to protect the privacy of student information.

To review the final regulations, press release, and associated guidance documents, please visit:

Family Policy Compliance Office

PTAC and FPCO will be conducting a series of webinars on FERPA. All webinars will last approximately one hour. To sign up for one of these webinars, please see the corresponding links. And be sure to check back regularly for additional training opportunities.

About PTAC

The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is one component of the U.S. Department of Education (ED)'s comprehensive privacy initiatives which also include:

  • The Chief Privacy Officer - Kathleen Styles
  • Technical Briefs
  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), released in April of 2011

PTAC offers technical assistance to state education agencies, local education agencies, and institutions of higher education related to the Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality of student records. This assistance is available through a variety of means including:

  • Site visits
  • Regional meetings
  • Privacy and security practice presentations
  • Privacy toolkit containing best practice guides and related resources
  • Data security policies, procedures, and architectures reviews
  • Data security audit assistance
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers commonly requested by PTAC stakeholders
  • Help desk support on data privacy and security questions

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Last Modified: 10/10/2012