Like any major institution, schools house and produce an enormous amount of personally identifiable information (PII), the only difference being that this information belongs to minors rather than adults.
When most people think of identity theft, they don’t consider children as potential victims, but children’s PII can be used by identity thieves just as easily as an adult’s—and in fact, children are sometimes better targets because it’s not immediately obvious that their identity is being used to open credit cards or apply for loans.
Additionally, children’s PII and school records are governed by The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which has specific requirements for data retention and destruction. For this reason, it’s critical that your institution take government-mandated measures to destroy data and records when they are no longer required to be retained. Ensuring the safety of your students is your top priority, and that includes protecting their identities.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, “FERPA requires educational institutions to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from student records from unauthorized disclosure without consent.”
Though FERPA doesn’t specifically mention records or data destruction, when data retention is no longer required, records must be destroyed to keep them from being accidentally viewed or used without consent. This applies especially when old electronics, like computers, are no longer needed, yet still contain PII and other sensitive data. Proper electronics recycling is critical to ensure the data on your school’s electronics are completely destroyed to protect your students’ PII.
Though electronics are often the main method by which student records are kept in the modern era, paper documents with PII are still produced on a regular basis. From immunization records and transcripts to report cards and more, to remain FERPA compliant, all these documents must be shredded if they are not specifically required to be retained.
At Protec Recycling, we serve educational institutions in Alabama with both paper shredding and electronics records destruction and recycling. As a AAA certified member of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), we provide secure data destruction for educational institutions.
From one-time purges to regularly scheduled service, Protec helps you protect your student’s PII while remaining FERPA compliant. To schedule a pickup, call our office at 205-549-2120, or visit our Contact Us page today.