Singleton & Jasey Bill to Protect Personal Information Collected by Third Parties for Public, Private & Charter Schools OK’d by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton and Mila Jasey to help protect personal information by prohibiting cloud computing services from disclosing data collected from public, private and charter schools was released Monday by an Assembly committee.

Cloud computing refers to the on-demand delivery of IT resources and applications, including electronic mail, document storage, and document editing, via the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing.

The bill (A-3147) prohibits cloud computing service providers from disclosing data collected from public, private, or charter schools to any person other than a student, teacher, or staff member.

“School districts are increasingly turning to rapidly evolving technologies and cloud computing to meet their educational objectives at lower costs. However, the transition to cloud services by school districts raise privacy concerns since the data will no longer be maintained by the school districts, but rather will be sourced in data centers operated by third-parties,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “This bill helps give parents peace of mind that sensitive and personal information will not be misused.”

“These cloud services are provided by third-parties and enable districts to process their children’s data or perform tasks online,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “While these services serve school districts well, many are wary of them because the data is held for an indefinite period and the duration of storage is outside the control of the school system. Parents also worry about the use of children’s school data by vendors for marketing purposes. This bill helps prevent that.”

A cloud computing service provider would have to certify in writing to the school that it will comply with the terms and conditions set forth in the bill. Violators would be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for a first offense and not more than $10,000 for any subsequent offense.

The Superior Court would have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the bill.

The bill was released by the Assembly Education Committee.