With the goal of providing clarity to K-12 schools, education technology providers, and parents, the FTC and Department of Education will co-host a public workshop on December 1, 2017 to explore the intersection of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). FERPA is administered and enforced by the Education Department, while COPPA is overseen by the FTC. As the two agencies explain in their notice of the event, the COPPA Rule requires website operators to obtain parental consent prior to collecting or processing information from children under 13, while FERPA restricts the ability of educational institutions to disclose student education records without prior written consent. Given the overlapping subject matter, and despite official guidance on COPPA’s applicability in the school context and FERPA compliance guidance related to education technology, the FTC and DOE seek to promote further dialogue to explore how these two regimes interplay with one another.
TIP: The December 1 workshop in Washington, D.C. is free and open to the public, and comments must be submitted by Friday, November 17.