An Introduction to SOPIPA
In January 2016, the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA) takes effect in California and New Hampshire.
SOPIPA addresses the changing use of technology in education.
Schools are increasingly integrating computers, laptops, and tablets in the classroom and relying on cloud-computing services for a variety of academic and administrative functions. Through the smart use of technology, schools can enhance and personalize student learning and improve school efficiency. At the same time, private educational technology companies can collect massive amounts of sensitive data about students, including contact information, performance records, online activity and keystrokes, health records, behavior and disciplinary records, eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch, family demographics and financial status, and even cafeteria selections and location along bus routes.
Some edtech companies have collected and analyzed students' personal details without clear limits on how that data is being used. Others have failed to adequately secure and encrypt students' personal information from potential misuse. Preexisting federal and state laws have failed to keep up with technology and left large gaps in the protection of students' information. And many vendor contracts, terms of service, and privacy policies fail to protect student data on their own.
SOPIPA provides clear rules of the road to ensure children's information isn't exploited for commercial or harmful purposes, and it ensures that information stays out of the wrong hands. It also supports innovation and personalized learning, so schools and students can harness the benefits of technology.
What does SOPIPA mean for me?
For more information, see: School Privacy Zone Page.