Unions and Education Groups Endorse ‘COPPA 2.0’ Legislation

April 16, 2024

The country’s top teacher unions and a group of national education organizations have formally endorsed bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would curb internet companies’ access to children’s personal information.

The  Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act — an update to the 1998 children’s online privacy law that is also known as COPPA 2.0 —  advanced out of the Senate Commerce Committee last year and garnered House companion legislation last week . The bill would ban targeted advertising to children and teens and prohibit internet companies from collecting personal information from users under age 17 without their consent.

Now the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers have joined a coalition of groups, including the National School Boards Association and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, to endorse a bill  the groups said balances student data privacy concerns with schools’ use of educational technology platforms.

In particular, the groups said they “strongly support” the legislation’s codification of  Federal Trade Commission policies that have allowed schools to consent to data collection and use on behalf of parents for educational purposes if the technology is solely for the use and benefit of the school and no other commercial purpose.

“In recent years, some privacy advocates have pushed to change current law to explicitly require that schools get parental permission to use edtech in classrooms or to provide parents with additional rights that could prevent schools from using edtech with students unless a parent opts-in to its use,” the organizations wrote in a joint letter to the legislation’s supporters.

“For this reason, codifying the ability of schools to consent to edtech use in COPPA 2.0 is crucial to both preserving this ability for schools and to ensuring that the bill’s positive advancements to protect children and teens online do not unintentionally restrict them from experiencing the benefits and opportunities of a technology-enhanced education at school," the groups said.



For specific questions, please contact Noelle Ellerson Ng, AASA associate executive director, advocacy and governance, at nellerson@aasa.org.