What is the Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA)?
It’s an Illinois Law, going into effect on July 1, 2021, intended to ensure that student data will be protected when it is collected by educational technology companies and that the data may be used for beneficial purposes such as providing personalized learning and innovative educational technologies.
In practical terms, what does that mean to me?
It means that for many apps/websites that you currently use, or that you plan to use in the future, you need to ensure that student data is not collected and used in ways that may pose a risk to students.
How do I know if an app or website needs to be submitted for SOPPA review?
Check the approved apps/sites list to see if the app/site has already been approved. If it is not on the list, then ask:
- Do you or your students have to create an account to use the site?
- Does the app/site require payment?
- At any point are you or your students prompted with an agreement that you have to click to accept or decline?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES then you need to complete the SOPPA application process before you use the app in school.
How likely is the site/app I’m interested in using to get approved?
You can get an idea by checking its security level at Common Sense Privacy (please note that this score is not a guarantee of approval/disapproval).
How do I start the process?
Submit your website/app for approval by filling out the short SOPPA form here. The process takes 30-60 days to complete. You will be notified of the result.