“Social distancing,” “shelter-in-place,” “virtual happy hour” – these are some of the new expressions on everyone’s lips the past few weeks. For many kids, parents, and teachers, add “remote learning” or “distance learning” to the list. Because of Coronavirus-related school closures, millions of students are now learning from home. For parents who are concerned about the privacy and security of their children’s personal data while they’re learning online, here are some things to know.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) generally requires websites and online services to get consent from parents before collecting personal information from kids younger than 13.
If you’re looking for remote learning opportunities for your child separate from school: Review the service’s privacy and security policies. Look for services that clearly explain their data collection and use policies.
While you’re at it, this is a good time to talk to your child about how to stay safe online. Discuss things like the importance of using strong passwords and the implications of posting or sharing information online. The FTC has guidance for parents to help keep kids safe online, including ways to avoid child identity theft and what to do if it happens. So, let the remote learning begin!