Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

Image
Is your kid protected on education technology?

It's back to school season and as you’re getting your kids ready for the new school year, the FTC wants you to know we’re thinking about your children’s privacy while they use education technology to do their schoolwork.

Have you ever wondered what information education technology is gathering from your kid? The FTC has, and we’ve issued a policy statement that put ed tech on notice: Kids shouldn’t have to give up their privacy rights to do their schoolwork or go to class remotely. In other words, ed tech companies can’t require parents and schools to agree to the comprehensive surveillance of children for kids to use those learning tools.

You might have heard of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act — also called COPPA. It’s at the center of the FTC’s efforts to protect kids’ privacy in the digital world. This law, enforced by the FTC, says that any site or service (think apps) that COPPA covers has to get a parent’s (or in some cases, a school’s) OK before it collects personal information from your child under 13. COPPA also protects kids’ privacy in other ways, like limiting how long companies can keep your child’s personal information. When a company breaks the rules, the FTC can sue.

With the pandemic-inspired explosion of ed tech, the FTC wants to make clear that ed tech companies offering online services directed to kids under 13 must follow the law, including by properly safeguarding your child’s personal information and, where a company relies on the school to provide consent, using kids’ information only for school-related purposes, not for things like marketing.

So, check out the Policy Statement itself for the details. But parents, here’s the message that industry is getting: The FTC is watching, ever more closely, what kid info you collect, how you use it, for how long you keep it, and how you protect it.

To keep up with the latest FTC actions, as well as the top frauds and scams, sign up for FTC Consumer Alerts: ftc.gov/consumeralerts.

1 Comments


It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Cody Black
August 04, 2022

This "spying" has been going on for many years to no avail. The industry is tooooo powerful.
Change will require strong effort. On the other hand, we need these tech industries and understandably they must earn a prophet, We can all work together and create a balanced approach.