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Hello all, and happy Thursday! I hope all of you are doing well as you kick off your first quarter of 2023. 

There’s a lot of children’s privacy-related news this week. This shouldn’t come as any surprise — anyone reading this newsletter would see the trend in focus on children’s privacy. But now, some of that focus has shifted toward how schools, in particular, are protecting (or not protecting) children’s data.

An independent study evaluating the software and applications required and recommended by more than 600 schools across the US found that 96% of software used by K-12 schools exposes student data. Released by Internet Safety Labs, an organization dedicated to software safety standards, the study also states that 79% of apps can access the students’ location data, 52% have access to contacts and calendar information, and 23% included ads. 

As a parent, this is a big concern. And I know it can be difficult to keep up with all of the new technologies available to keep children connected and interested in their education. Luckily, in another article this week, a new nonprofit called the Public Interest Privacy Center aims to help by working with superintendents across the country to connect them to resources for vetting new technologies. 

More insights into what’s happening with data privacy in schools and the new organizations dedicated to taking action on those insights gives me hope that new generations of student privacy will be more protected than ever.



Startling 96% of School Tech Exposes Student Data, Research Finds
In a study conducted by the Internet Safety Labs, evaluating over 1,300 apps recommended and required by 663 schools across the US, 96% of school tech was found to expose students’ information. "'Once their data reaches the “Wild West” digital advertising ecosystem, students lose control of how that information is used and retained,' said Irene Knapp, the group’s technology director and a former Google software engineer."
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District Leaders Are More Worried Than Ever About Data Privacy, New Center Aims to Help
The Public Interest Privacy Center, a nonprofit organization formed just last year, will be working with the AASA, the School Superintendents Association, to help school districts around the country respond to the privacy concerns related to data collection and privacy policies from education-related companies. 
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FTC Is Escalating Scrutiny of Dark Patterns, Children’s Privacy
In this breakdown of the FTC’s recent enforcement actions against Epic Games, Bloomberg Law explains why organizations targeting children under 13 need to strengthen their policies to reflect the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). It also goes into detail about Epic Games’ use of dark patterns to “trick or manipulate consumers into buying products or services or provide their personal data.”
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European Telecom Giants Bid to Develop Digital Ad Platform
Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, and Vodafone — four of Europe’s largest telecom companies — have established a joint venture to create their own digital ad platform. The platform would not only allow these organizations to compete with Tech giants like Google, Meta, Apple, and Amazon, but also to develop a privacy-first platform, operating under explicit user consent. 
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FTC Wants Data Broker's Lawsuit Dismissed in Privacy Dispute
Before the FTC’s enforcement action against Kochava for unlawfully selling sensitive location data, the data broker filed a lawsuit against the FTC for “overstepping its authority.” The FTC’s recent filing requested the court dismiss the “preemptive” lawsuit.
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3 state battlefronts on tech to watch in 2023
The Washington Post describes three key legislative areas to watch at the state level, including data privacy laws (both at the state level and regarding the possibility of a federal privacy law), children’s online safety, and more social media regulations. 
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​​LastPass Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Password Vault Breach
An anonymous (“John Doe”) LastPass user is suing the company after its recent data breach, wherein a hacker copied a backup of customer vault data, losing over 30 million users’ password vaults. John Doe is demanding the company pay damages, suing the company for negligence, breach of contract, and deceptive acts.   
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Keeping your business compliant in a changing data privacy landscape
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