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Privacy and Children's Data - An Overview of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

23 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2013  

Dalia Topelson Ritvo

Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Christopher Bavitz

Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Ritu Gupta

Harvard Law School

Irina Oberman

Independent

Date Written: November 14, 2013

Abstract

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

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

Dalia Topelson Ritvo (Contact Author)

Berkman Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Christopher Bavitz

Berkman Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ritu Gupta

Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Irina Oberman

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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