​California Passes ‘Landmark’ Bill to Protect Student Data Privacy

A GOLD STATE STANDARD: SOPA, the anti-piracy bill proposed in 2011, was wildly unpopular. A California bill with similar acronyms but that safeguards student privacy enjoys a lot more support. On Sept. 30, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA), banning companies from using K-12 student data for anything other than stated “school purposes” (for example, selling personal information to advertisers). The bill, written by Senator Darrell Steinberg, also requires that companies encrypt data about students and delete it once no longer needed for the expressed school purpose.

Some see SOPIPA as a first-of-its-kind step for increased legislation around student data nationwide: James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, told EdWeek that he anticipates it will be a model for other states, serving as the nation’s “first truly comprehensive student-data-privacy legislation.”

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