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Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Attorney Interviews with WGBH on Massachusetts Data Privacy Laws

 

Felicia Vasudevan, an attorney with Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, was interviewed alongside two other attorneys on the topic of student data privacy laws. The article, which was published in September, was titled “Massachusetts Student Data Privacy Laws Need an Update Say Legislators, Educators Pushing New Bill”. Ms. Vasudevan points out that student data privacy is extremely broad under the current laws, and stresses that this bill will give school districts the backing they need for why they’re requesting these data privacy protections. The article also says, “Attorney Felicia Vasudevan says the provision actually gives students and schools the power to hold companies to a higher standard. ‘If we’re thinking about ways to incentivize and make sure that vendors are adhering to these obligations, it adds teeth,’ Vasudevan said.”

 

Attorney Vasudevan was chosen to be interviewed by WBGH as a result of her participation on an expert panel alongside State Representatives Kate Lipper-Garabedian and Jeff Roy. The panel, titled “Legislative Briefing on H127, An Act Relative to Student and Educator Data Privacy”, discussed how crucial it is that Massachusetts update their laws to acknowledge the digitalization of student and educator data. During the session, they point out that over the last decade, 43 states have already updated their laws to reflect this and how the COVID-19 pandemic made this step even more necessary for students and educators. Throughout the panel, the experts go into detail on what student privacy laws currently are, and what the bill could do to keep everyone safe.

 

Ms. Vasudevan is an attorney in the firm’s Education Law and Special Education Law Groups, working in regular and special education issues. She represents school districts in all aspects of special education litigation, from administrative hearings at the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) through all levels of judicial appeal. She represents school districts in matters of student discipline, civil rights issues, collective bargaining, public procurement, and employment issues.  Ms. Vasudevan presents workshops to both client groups and at state conferences such as the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE). These workshops are on a variety of relevant education issues such as conducting investigations, evaluations, special education, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, state and federal student record regulations, bullying, and civil rights laws. Ms. Vasudevan received her Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford University, with a major in Public Policy and her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Prior to law school, she taught high school mathematics for two years in San Jose, California, as part of Teach for America, and trained the incoming Teach for America Corps Members at Teach for America’s Summer Institute.

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