Urge the AG to investigate and halt the selling of student data by the College Board and ACT

Letitia James, Attorney General of New York

NY State as well as 22 other states prohibit the selling of personal student data by school vendors, and yet both the College Board and the ACT do sell this data for a profit, which can end up in the hands of unscrupulous for-profit companies and data brokers.  

If your child is taking an exam such as the PSAT/SAT/AP or ACT exams, and you don’t want their personal data sold, which may include their race, ethnicity, self-reported grades, religion and/or test scores within a certain range, as well as other confidential information, please urge AG James to investigate these illegal practices by signing this petition.

To learn more about this issue, including the fact that the Illinois Attorney General is now looking into the illegal sale of student data by the College Board, click here.

Sponsored by
New York, NY

To: Letitia James, Attorney General of New York
From: [Your Name]

As a parent and/or concerned citizen in the state of New York, I urge you to investigate the College Board and ACT practice of selling student data, which violates our state student privacy law when they are acting as education contractors. As NYS Education § 2-d clearly states, “Personally identifiable information maintained by educational agencies, including data provided to third-party contractors and their assignees, shall not be sold or used for marketing purposes.”

The College Board also engages in consumer fraud and deception, since they falsely claim on their data privacy web page that “the College Board does not sell student information” while in reality, they sell this information for 47 cents per student.

As was recently reported, the Illinois Attorney General is “looking into the matter” of the College Board’s violation of their state’s student privacy law, after Illinois legislators urged him to investigate the company’s practice of selling student data. Last year, ACT was sued via a class action lawsuit, because they allegedly included highly sensitive student disability information among the data they sold to their customers.

The NY Times has reported that in this manner, student data can end up in the hands of unscrupulous for-profit companies that use the information to market dubious products and services to families; in some cases, their personal information may be resold to data brokers.

In 2018, the US Department of Education warned schools and districts that have agreements with the College Board or ACT to administer exams to students during the school day that allowing these companies to gather confidential information directly from their students and sell it without parental consent may be illegal under several federal laws as well.

Many districts across the state, including NYC, have contracts with the College Board and require that students take the PSATs and SATs. We urge you to step in, investigate, and if you find that the College Board and/or the ACT has indeed been engaging in illegal activities by selling student personal data, put a halt to this practice immediately.

Yours sincerely,