Universities balance privacy with need for transparency on virus

University administrations are citing privacy concerns in blocking attempts to cite numbers of Covid-19 infections on campus. Their efforts rest on two federal laws: FERPA, protecting the privacy of students’ educational records, and HIPAA, a health privacy rule. But experts say that the universities could publish numbers of cases school-wide without comprising the privacy of individuals. (The Washington Post, September 2, 2020, by Meryl Kornfield)

The U.S. Department of Education guidelines for FERPA published in March said schools can share information in emergency situations, but some fear identifying clusters could cause hate and discrimination. (The Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2020, by David UIberti)

For related FAC coverage, click here and here.

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