iKeepSafe Launches California K12 Student Privacy Program -- Independent Assessment for EdTech Products

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The new California Student Privacy Assessment from iKeepSafe.org provides an independent, third-party review of K12 edtech products and websites to demonstrate that they meet expectations of new California laws and federal student privacy regulations. The iKeepSafe California Student Privacy Assessment helps local educators make informed choices, reassure parents, and advance learning.

iKeepSafe’s new privacy badge is an important tool to help educators and edtech leaders meet new student privacy regulations in California.

The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe.org) has launched a new California Student Privacy Assessment – an independent, third-party review of K12 edtech products, services and websites to demonstrate that their privacy policies and practices meet the expectations of new California laws, as well as federal student privacy regulations.

The iKeepSafe California Student Privacy Assessment is being introduced this week at the annual conference of the California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA) a leading organization of IT professionals working in schools in California and beyond. CETPA leaders helped iKeepSafe develop the framework for the California Student Privacy Assessment, which builds on iKeepSafe's FERPA Assessment, designed to help educators and parents find products that meet the expectations of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. iKeepSafe also operates a COPPA Safe Harbor recognized by the Federal Trade Commission, to help companies show compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

“California’s new legislation is important, but the best way to strengthen student data privacy protections is more and better information for local education leaders who choose edtech products for their students and schools,” said Steve Carr, Chief Technology Officer for the Ventura County Office of Education and President-Elect of CETPA. “iKeepSafe’s new privacy badge is an important tool to help educators and edtech leaders meet new student privacy regulations in California.”

“Leading educators and edtech vendors want to reassure parents that they are protecting student data while advancing learning,” said iKeepSafe CEO and President Marsali Hancock. “The iKeepSafe California Student Privacy Assessment enables companies to demonstrate how their products protect and secure student information.”

The iKeepSafe California Student Privacy Assessment provides a standard for edtech companies to demonstrate that their products comply with federal and California laws, including:

  • Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (“SOPIPA”)     
  • California AB 1584, Education Code section 49073.1 – Privacy of Pupil Records: 3rd-Party Digital Storage & Education Software
  • CA Education Code 49073.6 – Collection of Student Information from Social Media
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”)
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”)
  • Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (“PPRA”)     
  • The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”)*

Products that complete the assessment can display the iKeepSafe California Student Privacy badge, and also get a detailed product profile that will be publicly available for schools and families. Products are re-assessed annually to remain in good standing.

California passed several new student data privacy laws in 2014, including the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (which takes effect on January 1, 2016), and AB 1584, which requires edtech service contracts to include specific provisions for pupil record protection and management (and which took effect on January 1, 2015.)

*Although the California Student Privacy Program will encompass the requirements of COPPA, the badge does not grant the recipient COPPA Safe Harbor status. The COPPA Safe Harbor Seal must be obtained separately.

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