When ConnectEDU Inc. filed for chapter 11 earlier this year, among the education technology company's assets were its college and career ready technology platforms and its contracts with education entities, that had resulted in the company having 20 million student records with information on tests scores, grade point averages, learning disabilities, contact information, addresses and birthdays.
In October, one of the buyers announced that it had informed all student, parents, and educators who had established accounts with ConnetEDU's platform of their rights to request all personally identifiable data be removed and promptly destroyed.
Given the broad parameters of what constitutes "property of the estate" in a bankruptcy and the Bankruptcy Code's goal of maximizing value for creditors, this is not an unsurprising result. However, because many education technology companies are small start-ups operating in a rapidly changing environment, bankruptcies, as well as mergers and other sales, are inevitable. Given the importance of student ownership of student records and the protection of users' privacy, this issue will need to be addressed by legislation providing clear guidance as to students' ownership and rights with regard to their records.