US Senate Looks to Protect Student Data From Advertisers
“Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Thursday introduced the Safe Kids Act.” The bill “[w]ould ban education companies — online homework portals, student email programs, digital teaching aids, etc. — from selling or using student data for targeted ads and require them to meet certain data security standards when handling student information.” “The Daines-Blumenthal bill is a competitor to a measure from Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.)” but Blumenthal said “I think we’ll probably work out the differences.” Although Mark MacCarthy (Vice President of Public Policy at the Software and Information Industry Association) cautioned that by “adding to the patchwork of state laws and federal regulations” the bill “risks limiting student access to advanced learning technologies that are essential to modern education,” “[a]ccording to the text, the measure does not stop companies from using student data for ‘personalized student learning purposes’.”
This update was compiled by Jeremiah Milbauer, with help from Paulina Haduong and Hannah Offer. Jeremiah is a rising freshman at the University of Chicago and an intern for the Student Privacy Initiative. Hannah is a rising freshman at Yale University.