Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA)
Effective July 1, 2021, school districts will be required by the Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA) to provide additional guarantees that student data is protected when collected by educational technology companies, and that data is used for beneficial purposes only (105 ILCS 85).
DISTRICT REQUIREMENTS Below is a high-level overview of the new requirements. Please refer to the legislation for specific timelines and components of each element. School districts must:
Annually post a list of all operators of online services or applications utilized by the district.
2. Annually post all data elements that the school collects, maintains, or discloses to any entity. This information must also explain how the school uses the data, and to whom and why it discloses the data.
3. Post contracts for each operator within 10 days of signing.
4. Annually post subcontractors for each operator.
5. Post the process for how parents can exercise their rights to inspect, review and correct information maintained by the school, operator, or ISBE.
6. Post data breaches within 10 days and notify parents within 30 days.
7. Create a policy for who can sign contracts with operators.
8. Designate a privacy officer to ensure compliance.
9. Maintain reasonable security procedures and practices. Agreements with vendors in which information is shared must include a provision that the vendor maintains reasonable security procedures and practices.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
The primary goal of COPPA is to place parents in control over what information is collected from their young children online. COPPA was designed to protect children under age 13 while accounting for the dynamic nature of the Internet. The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children, and operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13. The Rule also applies to websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information directly from users of another website or online service directed to children. Read more
Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
CIPA was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children’s access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. CIPA imposes certain requirements on schools or libraries that receive discounts for Internet access or internal connections through the E-rate program. Read more
Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
PPRA is intended to protect the rights of parents and students in two ways:
It seeks to ensure that schools and contractors make instructional materials available for inspection by parents if those materials will be used in connection with an ED-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation in which their children participate; and
It seeks to ensure that schools and contractors obtain written parental consent before minor students are required to participate in any ED-funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals certain information.
Is it possible for us to skip the SOPPA process altogether if a parent were to sign off during registration on their students using certain programs?
No. The operator prohibitions in 105 ILCS 85/10 apply to any application or service that receives “covered information” for a “K through 12 school purposes”. Those terms are defined in the statute and those definitions are fairly broad. https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3806&ChapterID=17.
What is our dividing line for determining whether we need to seek SOPPA compliance for a site or app?
- It must be used for K-12 school purposes. “K through 12 school purposes” means purposes that are directed by or that customarily take place at the direction of a school, teacher, or school district; aid in the administration of school activities, including, but not limited to, instruction in the classroom or at home, administrative activities, and collaboration between students, school personnel, or parents; or are otherwise for the use and benefit of the school.
- The site uses or collects covered information.