Saturday, July 9, 2016

Parent Coalition for Student Privacy opposes dangerous “model” employee & student privacy legislation | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy

Parent Coalition for Student Privacy opposes dangerous “model” employee & student privacy legislation | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy:

PARENT COALITION FOR STUDENT PRIVACY OPPOSES DANGEROUS “MODEL” EMPLOYEE & STUDENT PRIVACY LEGISLATION

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Adapted from the EFF website.
The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation,  ACLU, and a coalition of nearly two-dozen civil liberties and advocacy organizations  to urge the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) to vote down dangerous model employee and student privacy legislation.
The bill, the Employee and Student Online Privacy Protection Act (ESOPPA), is ostensibly aimed at protecting employee and student privacy. But its broad and vaguely worded exceptions and limitations overshadow any protections the bill attempts to provide. As the letter below explains, ESOPPA will result in only further invasions of student and employee privacy.
The ULC is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to researching, drafting, and promoting the enactment of uniform state laws, which it drafts and circulates as “models.” The ULC will vote on ESOPPA on July 11 at its annual meeting, and if it passes, the ULC will circulate the bill to legislators across the country in the hope of uniform adoption in all fifty states. But ESOPPA falls far short of its goal and does not live up to the prevailing standard for protecting social media privacy currently being enacted by the states and as required by the U.S. Constitution.
Social media accounts include vast quantities of sensitive personal information. As the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in Riley v. California, searches of digital devices are grave invasions of personal privacy in ways that physical searches could never be. Yet ESOPPA does next to nothing to prevent school administrators and employers—including public school employees and state officials—from coercing or requiring students and employees to turn over private, non-publicly available information from such accounts. The bill not only fails to comport with protections afforded to such sensitive personal communication under the Constitution, but the few protections it purports to provide are ripe for abuse and without measures to ensure accountability.
Furthermore, ESOPPA applies only to students at the college level and beyond, leaving the privacy of K12 students completely exposed.
That’s why we’re asking the ULC to either address ESOPPA’s deficiencies or reject the bill outright at its upcoming meeting. Other organizations, including the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), have also sent their own letter to the ULC opposing the current draft of ESOPPA.
You can read the full text of the letter below.
July 6, 2016
Members of the Uniform Law Commission
111 N. Wabash Avenue, Suite 1010
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Oppose Unless Amended: Employment and Student Online Privacy Protection Act
Dear Commissioner:
As civil liberties groups, advocacy organizations, student and parent rights coalitions, and a union representative, we write to you today to express deep concern over the Employee and Student Online Privacy Protection Act (“ESOPPA”). We appreciate the ULC’s interest in protecting the privacy of employees and students alike, but the version of the bill submitted to the full ULC committee for approval at the upcoming annual meeting fails to accomplish that goal in light of its significant deficiencies. While it purports to Parent Coalition for Student Privacy opposes dangerous “model” employee & student privacy legislation | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy:

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