In order to carry out their assigned responsibilities, many offices at MIT collect and maintain information about students. Although these records belong to MIT, both MIT policy and federal law accord students a number of rights concerning their records.
The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, governs student access to, and disclosure of, student records. Under FERPA students have:
- The right to inspect and review their own education records within 45 days of request.
- The right to request amendment of their education records to the extent that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s rights under FERPA.
- The right to provide written consent before MIT discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records to third-parties, unless a FERPA exception allows disclosure without prior consent.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by MIT to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
Protecting sensitive information
In response to Massachusetts regulations for the protection of Personal Information Requiring Notification (PIRN), MIT implemented a Written Information Security Program, which includes administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for this type of data. There are other MIT information protection initiatives in place that aim to protect student, health, and personal financial information.