Author name: Amelia Vance

FTC Issues EdTech & COPPA Policy Statement

FTC Issues EdTech & COPPA Policy Statement May 19, 2022 Cross-posted from Public Interest Privacy Consulting LLC Blog COPPA AND EDTECH NEWS FROM THE FTC! Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted unanimously to adopt “a policy statement that announces the agency’s prioritization of the enforcement of COPPA as it applies to the use of education technology.” The full statement is available here. Overall, the policy statement is carefully characterized as existing legal requirements of COPPA that the FTC will focus on as they begin to ramp up their COPPA enforcement. (Need a refresher on COPPA in schools? I’m a fan […]

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The Week in Child & Student Privacy

The Week in Child & Student Privacy April 27, 2022 This has been a big week for new legislation and regulations. Few news outlets have reported on the child or student privacy implications of these bills, so the newsletter is in a slightly different format this week. What I’m Reading Cross-posted from Public Interest Privacy Consulting LLC Blog 1. The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act Passes Out of Committee The bill was passed out of committee with amendments and re-referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee on the 25th, and read a second time and amended on the 26th. Some of

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The Week in Child & Student Privacy

The Week in Child & Student Privacy April 4, 2022 What I’m Reading Cross-posted from Public Interest Privacy Consulting LLC Blog 1. UK ICO Blog: Why protecting children online in UK living rooms starts 5,000 miles away What’s Happening What Happened: The new UK Information Commissioner says that since “[t]he digital world is borderless, and so many of the online services children access are based outside of the UK,” the value of the UK’s Age-Appropriate Design Code depends on how the Code is received internationally. He highlights California’s version of the Code, and mentions that versions of the Code are progressing

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The Week in Child & Student Privacy

The Week in Child & Student Privacy April 11, 2022 What I’m Reading Cross-posted from Public Interest Privacy Consulting LLC Blog 1. GovTech: Ed-Tech Companies Partner Up to Tackle Student Mental Health What’s Happening Two companies announced school partnerships to “tackle student mental health,” one of them by incorporating “information about a student’s social-emotional health and well-being into their college preparation, potentially helping schools give students more personalized attention in their post-graduation plans.” Why You Should Care This Government Technology article reads like a company press release, with no discussion of the massive privacy implications. Collecting student mental health information

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This Week in Child & Student Privacy

The Week in Child & Student Privacy April 1, 2022 What I’m Reading Cross-posted from Public Interest Privacy Consulting LLC Blog 1. Minnesota Pushing Bill That Says Websites Can No Longer Be Useful For Teenagers | Techdirt What’s Happening This bill “says that any social media platform with more than 1 million account holders (and operating in Minnesota) cannot use an algorithm to recommend content to users under the age of 18.” As the Chamber of Progress CEO points out, “YouTube Kids uses algorithms and manual curation to surface content appropriate for children and Twitter’s algorithms to help prioritize users find relevant

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Student Privacy Primer

Student Privacy Primer Juliana Cotto, Edith Mandinach, Amelia Vance, Jim Siegl, Anisha Reddy, Tyler Park, and Jasmine Parks This primer explains the concepts of student data, including who uses the data and why they use it; data privacy in general; student data privacy; student data privacy risks and harms; how student data privacy relates to data ethics and data equity; key federal privacy laws; key district and school policies; and what it means to foster a culture of privacy. Each of these sections and a concluding section list additional resources to help education stakeholders learn more about student data privacy.

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Recommendations for School Districts

Part IV: Recommendations How to Reduce Risks, Ensure Equity, and Protect Student Privacy when Implementing Self-Harm Monitoring Programs As schools and districts attempt to protect students amid the strains of the pandemic on student well-being, education stakeholders should remember that privacy protections can enhance mental health support programs by encouraging students to feel they can safely ask adults for help because they know that the information shared will remain confidential. Before adopting monitoring technology, schools and districts should understand key facts about how the technology works, how its implementation may impact students with mental health needs or disabilities, and how

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Legal Considerations

Part III: Legal Considerations Legal Considerations for School Districts In addition to understanding privacy and equity impacts, schools should be aware of important legal implications associated with adopting monitoring technologies and collecting student information related to mental health and potential to self-harm. In addition to CIPA (described here), there are several federal laws and protections that may influence how school districts can implement self-harm monitoring programs, manage the student information collected through such programs, and interact with students identified through self-harm monitoring. Additional state laws may apply as well. Schools should be aware of federal and state regulations that may

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Privacy and Equity Concerns: Questions 6 & 7

Part II: Privacy and Equity Concerns 6. How is student information shared with third parties, if at all, and are such disclosures permitted by law? Another key privacy consideration is whether and how schools share student information collected from monitoring programs, including individual students’ flagged status, with third parties, such as law enforcement entities, hospitals, or social services providers. School districts may be inclined to share a student’s flagged status or mental health information with law enforcement because of biases and misconceptions that conflate mental health problems with violence, or even because of a lack of school-based mental health resources

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Privacy and Equity Concerns: Questions 4 & 5

Part II: Privacy and Equity Concerns 4. What harms, such as stigma or discrimination, may stem from sharing of students’ information or flagged status? Using self-harm monitoring systems raises potential risks of stigma or discrimination. Biases embedded in public perception and media lead to exaggerated fears that students experiencing mental health challenges are prone to violent acts,65 even though most people with mental health needs have no propensity for violence.66 As a result of such biases, school staff may treat flagged students differently from their peers or subject them to additional scrutiny. The common but false assumption that flagged students

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