Parents guide to children’s privacy when remote learning


WASHINGTON (WLNS) – As millions of students across the country learn from home because of COVID-19 school closures, many parents are concerned about privacy.

The Federal Trade Commission has a few resources for parents who worry about privacy and security of their children’s personal data while they’re learning online.

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 your child’s school is providing remote learning, schools can consent to collecting personal information for students by educational technology services on behalf of parents. The consent only allows the use for educational and not commercial purposes.

Review online privacy notices or ask the school if you have questions about a service’s privacy and security practices.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Student Privacy Policy Office’s has further information on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and Virtual Learning.

If you are looking for remote learning opportunities for your child that are separate from school, be sure to review privacy and security policies. The FTC recommends services that clearly explain their data collection and use policies.

Most importantly, talk to your kids about how to stay safe online such as using strong passwords, sharing information online and avoiding identity theft.

Educating our kids requires us to learn more about privacy and security ourselves, but with a little research we can all stay smart and be safe.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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