Is it legal/ethical to include photos of my students in my classroom online (as in my online portfolio)?

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    Legal in which country? – henning -- reinstate Monica Mar 7 '19 at 22:07
  • IANAL: If you don't get their consent you'd probably violate the GDPR in Europe. – Roland Mar 8 '19 at 8:02

In the US, it would violate FERPA to identify students as having been in your class. I assume other countries have similar laws and I think most would agree it is a violation of their privacy (i.e. unethical) to do so without permission.

Talk to legal counsel at your university and do everything under their guidance, which would probably involve a signed release by each student.

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  • Correct. Somewhat related - my kids high school asks permission to post photos of the kids, but does so with no names attached. Similarly, for USA Swimming, the club cannot post pictures of swimmers with names attached. Both of those generally apply to minors, mostly under 18, so additional laws may apply. – Jon Custer Mar 7 '19 at 22:10
  • There's a consent provision in FERPA, so it is (probably) legal if each student signs a suitable consent... and, of course, they are of age to do so. Your advice to talk to the university's lawyers is bang on! – Bob Brown Mar 7 '19 at 23:55
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    The FERPA part is not so clear cut. FERPA does regulate "educational records", but photos and videos of students only count as educational records under specific circumstances (e.g., videos used in disciplinary hearings, or of a student giving an academic presentation). Classroom pictures that only "incidentally" show particular students may well be allowed. More discussion here. That said -- I agree completely that the right answer is to seek guidance from legal counsel; your institution may have specific rules also. – cag51 Mar 8 '19 at 5:16
  • @cag51 I suppose my first thought was "Here is Jane Smith, who took CS 150" but I guess that could have been what the OP meant; wide shots. – Azor Ahai -- he him Mar 8 '19 at 5:52

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