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Event Description

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Department of Education (“ED”) hosted a workshop on December 1, 2017 to examine student privacy and Ed Tech.

The use of “Ed Tech” has exploded over the past several years. More than half of K-12 students have access to a school-issued personal computing device, and in many school districts, online curriculum is becoming the norm. While these technologies have tremendous potential, this transformation in Ed Tech has raised questions about how the Rule implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA Rule”) applies in the school context, and how it intersects with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). The workshop was intended to gather information to help clarify how the FTC and ED can ensure that student privacy is properly protected without interfering with the promise of Ed Tech.

To aid our analysis of these issues, the FTC and ED sought input. Topics of interest included the following:

  • Are the joint requirements of FERPA and COPPA sufficiently understood when Ed Tech providers collect personal information from students?
  • Under what circumstances is it appropriate for a school to provide consent under COPPA and what is the process for properly obtaining the consent?
  • How should requirements concerning notice, deletion, and retention of records be handled and by whom and when?
  • COPPA and FERPA both limit the use of personal information collected from students by Ed Tech vendors. What are the appropriate limits on the use of this data?
  • How do schools maintain “direct control” over Ed Tech providers when they rely on the School Official Exception to FERPA’s general consent requirement?

You can find a full list of questions and information about how to submit comments in the detailed public notice about the workshop. The deadline for submitting comments was November 17, 2017.

The workshop, which was free and open to the public, was held at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC.

  • 7:45 am

    Registration

    9:00 am


    9:05 am

    Introductory Remarks 

    Kristin Cohen
    Senior Attorney
    Federal Trade Commission

    Opening Remarks
    Thomas B. Pahl
    Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection
    Federal Trade Commission

    9:25 am

    Panel 1: Setting the Stage

    Panelists:
    Heather A. Whitaker
    Special Assistant, Office of Educational Technology
    Department of Education

    Peder Magee
    Senior Attorney
    Federal Trade Commission

    Michael Hawes
    Director of Student Privacy Policy
    Department of Education

    Amelia Vance
    Education Policy Counsel
    Future of Privacy Forum

    10:15 am

    Break

    10:25 am

    Panel 2: School Perspective

    Panelists:
    Allen Miedema
    Technology Director
    Northshore School District, Washington

    Chris Paschke
    Executive Director of Data Security
    Jeffco Public Schools, Colorado

    Jim Siegl
    Technology Architect
    Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia

    Rachael Stickland
    Co-Chair
    Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

    Moderator:
    Michael Hawes
    Director of Student Privacy Policy
    Department of Education

    11:30 am

    Break

    11:40 am

    Panel 3: Student Privacy Issues and Challenges

    Panelists:
    Linnette Attai
    President
    Playwell LLC

    Dan Crowley
    Trust & Safety Manager
    Quizlet

    Bill Fitzgerald
    Technologist
    Common Sense Media

    Priscilla M. Regan
    Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government
    George Mason University

    Melissa Tebbenkamp
    Director of Instructional Technology
    Raytown Quality Schools, Missouri

    Moderators:
    Michael Hawes
    Director of Student Privacy Policy
    Department of Education

    Peder Magee
    Senior Attorney
    Federal Trade Commission

    1:10 pm

    Lunch

    2:15 pm

    Panel 4: Where Do We Go From Here?

    Panelists:
    David LeDuc
    Senior Director, Public Policy
    Software & Information Industry Association

    David Monahan
    Campaign Manager
    Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

    Francisco M. Negrón, Jr.
    Chief Legal Officer
    National School Boards Association

    Steve Smith
    Chief Information Officer
    Cambridge Public Schools, Massachusetts

    Rachael Stickland
    Co-Chair
    Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

    Amelia Vance
    Education Policy Counsel
    Future of Privacy Forum

    Moderators:
    Kristin Cohen
    Senior Attorney
    Federal Trade Commission

    Kathleen Styles
    Chief Privacy Officer
    Department of Education

    3:45 pm

    Closing Remarks

    Kathleen Styles
    Chief Privacy Officer
    Department of Education

  • Request for Comments

    The FTC and ED invited comments from the public on the issues covered by this workshop, including on the questions listed above. Submitted comments can be viewed here.

FTC Privacy Policy

Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.

The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s comprehensive Privacy Policy.

This event is open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded. By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image — and anything you say or submit — may be posted indefinitely at ftc.gov or on one of the Commission's publicly available social media sites.