23 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 14, 2013
Privacy law in the United States is a complicated patchwork of state and federal caselaw and statutes. Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, prepared this briefing document in advance of the Student Privacy Initiative's April 2013 workshop, "Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem," to provide a high-level overview of two of the major federal legal regimes that govern privacy of children’s and students’ data in the United States: the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
This guide aims to offer schools, parents, and students alike a sense of some of the laws that may apply as schools begin to use cloud computing tools to help educate students. Both of the relevant statutes – and particularly FERPA – are complex and are the subjects of large bodies of caselaw and extensive third-party commentary, research, and scholarship. This document is not intended to provide a comprehensive summary of these statutes, nor privacy law in general, and it is not a substitute for specific legal advice. Rather, this guide highlights key provisions in these statutes and maps the legal and regulatory landscape.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Ritvo, Dalia Topelson and Bavitz, Christopher and Gupta, Ritu and Oberman, Irina, Privacy and Children's Data - An Overview of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (November 14, 2013). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2354339 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2354339
By Urs Gasser