The Use of Electronic Data Interchange under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act


Among the many technologies that continue to transform our colleges and universities, one of the latest is electronic data interchange, or EDI. When used in the student records area, EDI allows electronic student records to be fed directly into a receiving institutionis database, instead of sending transcripts by mail. While this process offers many clear advantages, one important question that needs to be addressed is how studentsi privacy will be protected under this new means of transmission. The author discusses this question in the light of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), citing legal precedents. Two Viewpoint articles in this issue are also related to the topic of privacy: "Electronic Data Interchange: We Are Stampeding" (cem9619) and "Killing the Electronic Messenger" (cem9610).

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