USA: Senators send letter to FTC and DoE requesting guidance on ed tech
U.S. Senator, Edward J. Markey announced, on 24 March 2020, that he had sent a letter ('the Letter'), along with U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Richard Blumenthal, to the Federal Trade Commission ('FTC') and the Department of Education ('DoE'), requesting that both agencies issue guidance to education technology ('ed tech') companies and parents to ensure the protection of student privacy in light of the COVID-19 ('Coronavirus') public health emergency. In particular, the Letter urges the agencies to issue proposals to ed tech services, such as communicating privacy policies to users conspicuously and in an easily accessible way and issuing notices of data collection and processing practices in written and plain language, easily understood by students, parents, and educators. Moreover, the Letter requests that the agencies provide the recommendations to parents including encouraging parents to increase their awareness of ed tech services that provide varying versions of service and educational opportunities dependant on whether a user grants permission for data collection and sharing. In addition, the Letter suggests that guidance to parents should also include warnings about the risks that malicious access to student data can pose to their children.