Browse all articles

Action Alert: Oregon House Education Committee to hear amendments on OSIPA

Common Sense Kids Action opposes the industry-proposed amendments to Oregon Senate Bill 187, commonly known as the Oregon Student Information Protection Act (OSIPA).

Today, we stand with Oregon families and urge their leaders to do what's right and ensure our kids have the protection they deserve. When it comes to online school services, we need clear rules that bar inappropriate commercial, noneducational uses of student data outright, without creating cracks and loopholes. This helps create a trusted online environment where students, families, and educators can focus on learning rather than worry about commercial data mining.

Typically schools and teachers choose the websites, apps, and other online services students and parents must use. Parents have no real choice but to "consent" when they click through the terms of service or check the box "agreeing" to the privacy policy. Parents may assume that the school already has fully vetted the service and its privacy and security practices, or they may feel forced to consent to anything so their children can participate and won't be left out. Meanwhile, schools may not always have the resources or savvy to carefully review the products, or they may agree to certain practices to obtain free, discounted, or highly desired products.

Recommendation engines bring up similar concerns about the commercial, noneducational uses of student data. Industry leaders seek the ability to "recommend additional content or services to students related to educational, learning, or job opportunities" based on sensitive student information. It seems industry wants to look at past downloads, purchases, and other behavior and activity and then recommend products the algorithm thinks the user might like.

We at Common Sense Kids Action feel it's better for the educator to recommend what's best for a particular K–12 student -- not a computer algorithm attempting to sell or promote more products.

At the same time Common Sense Kids Action believes every child should have access to technology and the opportunity that access brings, we also believe that should not have to mean sacrificing privacy.

JR Starrett
JR oversees Let's Invest Large in Youth (LILY), a multi state program for Common Sense Kids Action. In this capacity JR works with a team of internal and external stakeholders to identify and introduce state based legislation that will positively impact kids. Prior to joining Common Sense, JR served as a seasoned political operative managing campaign efforts for some of the nation’s most competitive races. JR was recognized as a Rising Star by Campaigns and Elections magazine in 2014. He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife Morgan. JR is a frequent contributor to Campaigns and Elections Magazine, contributing to the Campaign Insider column.