Data privacy experts are warning parents about their child’s privacy rights and explaining what exactly they must do to prevent school officials from sharing sensitive student data.

NBC News Consumer Correspondent Herb Weisbaum told WTOP public schools collect information on students that’s shared with the government, or sold to marketing companies or others, but parents have the right to keep the information private.

“Schools are allowed by federal law to share or sell directory information about their students with anyone, including data brokers and marketing companies, unless they have a parental opt-out form on file,” Weisbaum said.

The news site explains that the opt-out form typically isn’t easy to find, as schools often hide the document at the back of enrollment packets or bury it online. And parents only have a short time frame to fill out the form that good for a full school year, so if they miss the window their child’s information cannot be blocked until school starts again.

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