New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently signed S. 2057 into law. The new law requires school districts and charter schools to notify students and their parents if school-issued laptops, cell phones, or other electronic devices contain cameras, GPS systems, or other features that may record or collect information on a student's activity or use of the device. The schools must also notify parents and children that the monitoring capability will not be used in any way that might violate the student's privacy rights, or the privacy rights of anyone living with the student. Parents must acknowledge that they received the notice, and the schools must keep the acknowledgment as long as the student keeps the electronic device. The law takes effect July 1, 2013.
TIP: It does not appear that this law will have an impact on third parties – like companies who have apps that include geo-location. Instead, it seems squarely directed at New Jersey school districts and charter schools. Nevertheless, it is a sign that many states are increasingly looking at ways to protect children in a digital environment.