New student privacy regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education enable universities to use ID numbers, but not Social Security numbers, in student directories as long as they can’t be used to access education records without another form of authentication, such as a password.
In one proposal, regulators wanted to treat ID numbers like SSNs, but that would have meant expensive retrofitting by many universities and that idea was later scrapped. The Chronicle of Higher Education notes that campus officials still need to make sure that student records, such as grades, aren’t posted just by student ID number.
The new regulations also give schools room to figure out how they can best protect a student’s information.
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