FERPA at SpatialChat

What is FERPA?

It is a U.S. federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records when they are underage. Otherwise, it protects the rights of students even after they have graduated.
 

To what institutions does FERPA apply?

FERPA applies to all academic institutions that receive funds under applicable U.S. Department of Education programs. As a vendor (sub-processor), SpatialChat must have the means that allow our client (controller) to comply with FERPA.
 

Data protected by FERPA

  • name
  • surname
  • email address
  • address (local & home)
  • telephone number (local & home)
  • college/school and curriculum
  • enrollment status and credit hour load
  • dates of attendance
  • classification
  • receipt or non-receipt of a degree
  • academic awards received (dean's list, honors students)
  • participation in officially recognized activities
  • sports photograph
  • position, weight, and height of athletes
  • name of student's parent or other family member
  • address of the student or the student's family
  • a personal identifier (PUID, SID, SSN)
  • biometric record
  • social security number
  • other indirect indicators (birth date, place of birth, mother's maiden name)
  • other information alone or in combination that would make the student's identity easily traceable

Data collected by SpatialChat

SpatialChat collects only the name, about, and email (video and audio if recorded) from the list above. However, users can share this information of their own volition through the chat (general, table, private), posting it in the Profile, or disclosing it during a conversation.

Disabling the chat, moderating conversations, and validating information in the Profile to avoid sharing sensitive information is not technically possible.
 

Students, Parents & Graduates' rights under FERPA

  1. Inspect and review education records.
  2. Request the amendment of education records.
  3. Limit/consent to the disclosure of education records to third parties.
  4. Inspect, review or request the amendment of personally identifiable information (PII).
Under FERPA, personally identifiable information (or “PII”) means any information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty.
 

How SpatialChat fulfills these rights?

  • SpatialChat doesn't handle the education records of students.
  • SpatialChat allows users to inspect, review, and amend PII.

How does SpatialChat receive PII from education records?

All students and other university staff create a user with their name, about, and email (the latter is only for SpatialChat space admins). SpatialChat does not collect information from third parties. In other words, SpatialChat does not receive PII from education records.

SSO or Single Sign-On isn’t supported by SpatialChat yet, however, we are working on it.
 

What else is SpatialChat doing to comply with FERPA?

  1. All data in rest and transit is encrypted
  2. Admins have the right to erase their SpatialChat space data
  3. SpatialChat advises not sharing education records through chat, SpatialChat local guest profile, or the conversations (video calls)
  4. SpatialChat advises universities not to record the Stage with 3rd party tools (internal video recording is not supported)

Marketing

By agreeing to SpatialChat’s Terms & Conditions, you agree to receive our emails, however...

  1. SpatialChat does not send marketing emails to guests, speakers, and hosts (unless asked for).
  2. SpatialChat only sends emails to event organizers (admins) to inform them about new releases, changes, results of requests they make, and so on.
  3. Admins / Event organizers can opt-out of marketing emails at any time.
Last updated: April 1st, 2021
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