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Understanding FERPA Flags

We occasionally hear from constituents who are unable to receive emails due to FERPA flags on their Salesforce records. While this can be frustrating for communicators and constituents, it's important that we honor the constituents' requests for privacy, regardless of when that request was first issued and regardless of the impact it has on their ability to receive communications.

What do to with a FERPA Flag

If you encounter a record with a FERPA/privacy flag in Salesforce, it is crucial that you DO NOT OPEN THE RECORD. The privacy flag was placed there at the request of the constituent, and it's essential that we honor that request to protect personal data.

How is a FERPA flag added to a record?

FERPA flags on contact records in Salesforce originate from one of CU's source systems, Campus Solutions. These flags are only added to records at the personal request of the constituent, and they can remain active for a certain period of time or indefinitely based on the preferences of the individual making the request.

FERPA flags can (depending on the timing above) remain on a record even after a student graduates, and even if that former student eventually becomes a CU employee.

How do FERPA flags affect communications?

The presence of a FERPA flag on a contact record means that the constituent will be excluded from commercial communications (newsletters, event invitations, etc. but will still receive transactional communications (those required for education or employment). Learn more about commercial vs. transactional communications in "What is the difference between a commercial and transactional email?"

While we know the inability to receive commercial communications can be frustrating, it's important to address the FERPA flag properly rather than trying to find a workaround, like creating a duplicate contact.

How can we remove a FERPA flag?

The Registrar's Office on each of CU's campuses coordinates the placement and removal of FERPA flags in Campus Solutions, and that data ultimately ends up in Salesforce via MDM (learn more about eComm's data model). As such, only the appropriate Registrar's Office can assist with removing the FERPA flag from a record upon the requst of the record owner (the person to which the FERPA flag belongs). Procedures will vary by campus, but the request to remove a FERPA flag MUST come from the constituent; generally, they need to prove their identity in order to proceed with making changes (otherwise the privacy flag wouldn't be effective).

If you have a constituent who is requesting the removal of a privacy flag, please direct them to the appropriate campus resources below.