New student-privacy rules that take effect this month address two burgeoning challenges in higher education: shielding students from computer-related identity theft and protecting them from peers identified as a potential threat by faculty members.


The altered privacy rules were outlined in the government's newly revised Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as FERPA, which went into effect Jan. 8. The federal Education Department (ED) released the new FERPA guidelines in response to both the April 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech and the growing threat of identity theft on campus.


Seung Hui Cho, a Virginia Tech student, killed 33 people, including himself,...

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