20 USC 9573: Confidentiality
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20 USC 9573: Confidentiality Text contains those laws in effect on June 12, 2024

§9573. Confidentiality

(a) In general

All collection, maintenance, use, and wide dissemination of data by the Institute, including each office, board, committee, and center of the Institute, shall conform with the requirements of section 552a of title 5, the confidentiality standards of subsection (c) of this section, and sections 1232g and 1232h of this title.

(b) Student information

The Director shall ensure that all individually identifiable information about students, their academic achievements, their families, and information with respect to individual schools, shall remain confidential in accordance with section 552a of title 5, the confidentiality standards of subsection (c) of this section, and sections 1232g and 1232h of this title.

(c) Confidentiality standards

(1) In general

(A) The Director shall develop and enforce standards designed to protect the confidentiality of persons in the collection, reporting, and publication of data under this subchapter.

(B) This section shall not be construed to protect the confidentiality of information about institutions, organizations, and agencies that receive grants from, or have contracts or cooperative agreements with, the Federal Government.

(2) Prohibition

No person may-

(A) use any individually identifiable information furnished under this subchapter for any purpose other than a research, statistics, or evaluation purpose under this subchapter;

(B) make any publication whereby the data furnished by any particular person under this subchapter can be identified; or

(C) permit anyone other than the individuals authorized by the Director to examine the individual reports.

(d) Administration

(1) In general

(A) Disclosure

No Federal department, bureau, agency, officer, or employee and no recipient of a Federal grant, contract, or cooperative agreement may, for any reason, require the Director, any Commissioner of a National Education Center, or any other employee of the Institute to disclose individually identifiable information that has been collected or retained under this subchapter.

(B) Immunity

Individually identifiable information collected or retained under this subchapter shall be immune from legal process and shall not, without the consent of the individual concerned, be admitted as evidence or used for any purpose in any action, suit, or other judicial or administrative proceeding.

(C) Application

This paragraph does not apply to requests for individually identifiable information submitted by or on behalf of the individual identified in the information.

(2) Employee or staff violations

Whoever, being or having been an employee or staff member of the Department, having taken or subscribed the oath of office, or having sworn to observe the limitations imposed by subsection (c)(2), knowingly publishes or communicates any individually identifiable information (as defined in paragraph (5)(A)), the disclosure of which is prohibited by subsection (c)(2), and that comes into such employee or staff's possession by reason of employment (or otherwise providing services) under this subchapter, shall be found guilty of a class E felony and imprisoned for not more than five years, or fined as specified in section 3571 of title 18, or both.

(3) Temporary staff

The Director may utilize temporary staff, including employees of Federal, State, or local agencies or instrumentalities (including local educational agencies), and employees of private organizations to assist the Director in performing the Director's responsibilities, but only if such temporary staff are sworn to observe the limitations imposed by this section.

(4) Information requirements

No collection of information or data acquisition activity undertaken by the Director shall be subject to any review, coordination, or approval procedure except as required by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under the rules and regulations established pursuant to chapter 35 of title 44, except such collection of information or data acquisition activity may be subject to review or coordination if the Director determines that such review or coordination is beneficial.

(5) Definitions

For the purposes of this section-

(A) the term "individually identifiable information" means any record, response form, completed survey, or aggregation thereof from which information about particular individuals may be revealed; and

(B) the term "report" means a response provided by or about an individual to an inquiry from the Director and does not include a statistical aggregation from which individually identifiable information cannot be revealed.

(6) Violations

Any person who uses any data provided by the Director, in conjunction with any other information or technique, to identify any individual student, teacher, administrator, or other individual and who knowingly discloses, publishes, or uses such data for a purpose other than a statistical purpose, or who otherwise violates subparagraph (A) or (B) of subsection (c)(2), shall be found guilty of a class E felony and imprisoned for not more than five years, or fined as specified in section 3571 of title 18, or both.

(7) Access to reports or records

Nothing in this section shall restrict the right of the Secretary, the Comptroller General of the United States, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, and the Librarian of Congress, to gain access to any reports or other records, including information identifying individuals, in the Director's possession, except that the same restrictions on disclosure that apply under paragraphs (1) and (6) shall apply to such individuals.

(e) Investigation and prosecution of terrorism

(1) In general

Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), the Attorney General (or any Federal officer or employee, in a position not lower than an Assistant Attorney General, designated by the Attorney General) may submit a written application to a court of competent jurisdiction for an ex parte order requiring the Secretary to permit the Attorney General (or his designee) to-

(A) collect reports, records, and information (including individually identifiable information) in the possession of the Director that are relevant to an authorized investigation or prosecution of an offense listed in section 2332b(g)(5)(B) of title 18 or an act of domestic or international terrorism as defined in section 2331 of that title; and

(B) for official purposes related to the investigation or prosecution of an offense described in paragraph (1)(A), retain, disseminate, and use (including as evidence at trial or in other administrative or judicial proceedings) such information, consistent with such guidelines as the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary, shall issue to protect confidentiality.

(2) Application and approval

(A) In general.-An application under paragraph (1) shall certify that there are specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that the information sought is described in paragraph (1)(A).

(B) The court shall issue an order described in paragraph (1) if the court finds that the application for the order includes the certification described in subparagraph (A).

(3) Protection

An officer or employee of the Department who, in good faith, produces information in accordance with an order issued under this subsection does not violate subsection (b)(2) 1 and shall not be liable to any person for that production.

( Pub. L. 107–279, title I, §183, title IV, §401(a)(6), Nov. 5, 2002, 116 Stat. 1972 , 1983.)

Editorial Notes


Subsecs. (a) to (c) of section 9007 of this title, which were transferred to this section and redesignated subsecs. (c) to (e) by Pub. L. 107–279, §401(a)(6), were based on Pub. L. 103–382, title IV, §408(a) to (c), Oct. 20, 1994, 108 Stat. 4034 ; Pub. L. 107–56, title V, §508, Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 368 ; Pub. L. 107–279, title IV, §401(a)(1)–(5), Nov. 5, 2002, 116 Stat. 1983 .


2002-Subsecs. (c) to (e). Pub. L. 107–279, §401(a)(6), transferred subsecs. (a) to (c) of section 9007 of this title to this section and redesignated them as subsecs. (c) to (e), respectively. See Codification note above.

1 So in original. Probably means subsection (d)(2).