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Bill to Protect Young Learners Signed by CA Governor

Help us extend California's landmark student-privacy protections to preschool and pre–K!

Update: On September 24, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Early Learning Privacy Information Protection Act (ELPIPA), protecting the online privacy of families and young learners across California.

Thank you to our Kids Action Advocates for taking action on this important issue.

Update: We're thrilled to report that the Early Learning Privacy Information Protection Act (ELPIPA) passed the Senate floor unanimously on August 29. The governor should sign these protections into law without delay -- families and young learners across California are depending on it. Encourage the governor to sign it today!

Classrooms across the country, including in California, are seeking to harness the benefits of technology for learning. This is true even in classrooms full of our littlest learners. Early education settings are increasingly integrating tablets and using cloud-computing services to enrich education and improve academic operations. Indeed, some of the most frequently used apps for kids age 0 to 8 are educational games.

This seems in many ways a natural fit, given how intuitively young kids seem to understand technology and that they're no strangers to it -- studies show that among 4-year-olds, almost all have used a mobile device, and many seem more adept at using devices than their parents. What young kids often don't understand, unfortunately, is how to protect their privacy when they're sharing information with apps, toys, and other electronic learning tools. And parents and teachers are often in the dark, too.

In 2014, California unanimously passed a landmark student-privacy law for its K–12 students, SOPIPA (the Student Online Privacy and Information Protection Act). SOPIPA protects K–12 students' privacy and ensures their information is used for learning, not advertising or profiling. Now it's time to extend those protections to preschool and pre-kindergarten learners.

Assembly Bill (AB) 2799, the Early Learning Privacy Information Protection Act (ELPIPA), authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau and sponsored by Common Sense Kids Action, is poised to offer these protections to California's preschools and pre-Ks. The House and Senate has passed these protections. Encourage the Governor to sign it today!

Ariel Fox Johnson
Ariel Fox Johnson is Senior Counsel for Global Policy at Common Sense Media, where she advocates for smart practices, policies, and rules to help all kids thrive in today’s wired world. Her work focuses on enhancing family privacy rights, strengthening students' educational privacy, and promoting robust consumer protections in the online world. She frequently advises policymakers, industry, and tech experts, and has helped develop laws on student privacy, consumer privacy, and the Internet of Things. Ariel is a graduate of Harvard College and Law School. Prior to joining Common Sense, Ariel worked on privacy, media, intellectual property, and technology matters at corporate law firms, and provided pro bono assistance to nonprofits and asylum seekers.