Common Sense Kids Action Commends CA Attorney General for Edtech Privacy Recommendations

Statement from James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense Kids Action

Common Sense Media
Thursday, November 3, 2016

"We are pleased to see California Attorney General Harris addressing how important student data privacy is for kids and families. California has been a national leader on student privacy protections with the passage of the groundbreaking Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA) legislation that ensures a student's personal information at school is protected. President Obama released a legislative proposal based on SOPIPA and many states have followed with similar laws.

"Gathering and repackaging personal information is a multi-billion dollar business, and there are serious lifelong consequences for families. We strongly urge businesses to build privacy and security into their products from the outset instead of reacting only when privacy violations are exposed. Companies—many of them right here in Silicon Valley—are not being as transparent as they need to be, which is why we need laws and regulations at the federal and state levels to hold them accountable.

"We know parents worry about their kids' personal information being exposed, which is why Common Sense has made the privacy of children and students a top priority for so many years."

Highlights of our work include:

(1) ADVOCACY - We passed SOPIPA, which has been franchised in New Hampshire, Delaware and Oregon, and are working to franchise it in more states. We are currently pushing federal legislation modeled after our CA bill and we also successfully passed the Early Learning Privacy Information Protection Act (ELPIPA), which extends protections to early learning students. Finally, we are working to strengthen non-school privacy protections for kids at the federal level (broadband privacy and FERPA).

(2) EDUCATOR TOOLS - A first-of-its-kind Privacy Evaluation Tool for districts and educators to help them make decisions on which apps, websites, and other edtech tools they allow in the classroom based on strength of privacy protections. With participation from educators and vendors, more than 100 evaluations have been completed, resulting in important privacy improvements and changes to many popular edtech tools.

(3) PARENT OUTREACH - Tips and advice for parents on steps they can take to protect the online privacy of their kids (settings, sites to avoid, rules for kids, etc.); and privacy ratings of apps and websites to help parents make smart choices.

For more information visit:
Common Sense Privacy Evaluation Initiative
Common Sense Kids Action