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Protect Colorado Students

Overview

Lawmakers in Colorado have recently introduced legislation that would significantly impact the privacy rights of students.

As Colorado schools integrate laptops and tablets in the classroom and use cloud-computing services to facilitate operations and communication, a myriad of websites, online services, and apps are collecting massive amounts of sensitive personal information about students and their families -- contact information, online searches and activity, health information, behavioral information, and student performance.

We need a trusted online environment so our students can benefit from innovative educational technology without fear that their personal information will be exploited for commercial purposes or fall into the wrong hands.

The bill, as currently written, would allow companies to use information collected in our schools to market their products to our children and their parents and to disclose students' personal information to third parties. We believe that children have the right to attend school without being forced to turn over private information to vendors looking for new ways to make a buck.

Common Sense Media has proposed three basic principles to improve HB 1423 that attempt to balance the tremendous opportunity provided by education technology with the need to foster a trusted learning environment where students' personal information is protected:

  1. Students' personal information should be used solely for educational purposes;

  2. Students' personal information or online activity should not be used to target advertising to students or families;
  3. Schools and education technology providers should adopt appropriate data-security, -retention, and -destruction policies.

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Common Sense is the nation’s leading independent non-profit organization dedicated to empowering kids to thrive in a world of media and technology. Families, educators, and policymakers turn to Common Sense for unbiased information and trusted advice to help them learn how to harness the positive power of media and technology for all kids.