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Maine Schools Will Collect Student SSNs

STUDENT PRIVACY—U.S.

August 11, 2010

Beginning this fall, Maine law will require schools to collect student Social Security numbers (SSNs) and submit them to state officials, which has raised privacy concerns and prompted the Department of Education to release guidelines to the state's superintendents, the Portland Press Herald reports. The Department of Education is advising districts to make sure parents understand that they are not required to submit their children's SSNs when schools ask for them, the report states. Although the guidelines followed a request by the Maine Civil Liberties Union (MCLU) that schools alert parents of the privacy concerns related to releasing SSNs, MCLU Legal Director Zach Heiden said they do not go far enough. "It would have been nice for them to include that explicit caution," he said.
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