page image

Federal Children's Protection Laws - Case Study

Federal Children's Protection Laws

The Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) is a federal law that went into effect in 2000 that governs the participation of young children in online activities. It requires a website operator to obtain "verifiable consent" from a parent or guardian for the participation of any child under age 13, mandates what must be included in a website's privacy policy for young people and describes the responsibilities an operator has to protect children's privacy and safety online, including restrictions on the marketing to those under 13.
The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children's access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. CIPA applies to schools or libraries that receive discounts for Internet access through the Federal Communications Commission's E-Rate program. To receive the E-Rate discounts, schools and libraries must have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures that block or filter Internet access to content that could be harmful to minors. Before adopting an Internet safety policy, schools and libraries must provide reasonable notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposal. Schools are also required to monitor the online activities of minors and provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law intended to protect the privacy of student educational records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents or students over age 18 certain rights with respect to educational records. Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review records maintained by the school and to request that a school correct records that they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's educational record.