#edtech for #edleaders: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) has been law in the United States since 1998. The intent of the law is to protect the privacy and the personal information of children, thus is requires the publishers of web sites that collect user information to have parental consent for those under 13 years of age. This is the law that has motivated social media companies to restrict children from accessing their platforms. Of course, it is very difficult to enforce age restrictions, but the terms of service and privacy statements of companies that maintain web platforms, especially those that facilitate interaction among users, do reflect the requirements of the law.  

Because of COPPA, most schools have procedures for identifying the online platforms that can be used by teachers. Especially for those students who are under 13. A teacher may find that are not allowed to have students logging on to and using and interesting new tool until the terms of service have been reviewed and school leaders conclude it is reasonable to allow access.