In September 2014, California passed “landmark” student privacy legislation known as SOPIPA (Student Online Personal Information Protection Act). At least 15 states have attempted to pass similar legislation this year, including Oregon. Lisa Shultz, an education advocate and member of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, addressed members of the Oregon House Education Committee to express her concern over proposed amendments that would significantly weaken the bill. Similar amendments were added to bills in Colorado, Maryland and Connecticut by lobbyists representing Google, Microsoft, K12 Online Inc. and others. Please read Lisa’s testimony:
Testimony in Opposition to SB 187A
Lisa A. Shultz, M.S.E.E.
18 May 2015
Dear Chair Doherty and Members of the House Education Committee:
I am writing today in opposition to SB 187A. Please note that I had earlier submitted testimony in support of SB187-1. However, the bill that was passed by the Senate, with little to no discussion, was the -3 amendment that significantly changes the bill and undermines the good intentions of the bill to safeguard the online privacy protections of Oregon’s students.
A glaring example of these changes is the language in the bill that initially “prohibited the service provider from disclosing any covered information provided by the operator to subsequent third parties (period)”. SB 187A adds the troubling “except in furtherance of kindergarten through grade 12 purposes of the site, service or application or for a purpose permitted by subsection…” while also expanding the definition of ‘kindergarten through grade 12 purposes’ and ‘operator’. These changes effectively remove downstream restrictions and subsequent re-disclosure.
I hope that you will review the testimony submitted by James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media submitted on April 14, 2015. Mr. Steyer had previously written in support of the -1 amendment and withdrew his support with the -3 amendment. His testimony is an excellent summary of the changes and their effects that “create new loopholes and weaken OSIPA’s protections for students.”
Other states similar to Oregon that are trying to copy the California bill ,(e.g. Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland), see a similar watering down of the protections provided by California’s SB 1177 as a result of industry lobbying. I remind you that children do not have lobbyists. I urge this Committee to act on their behalf by either restoring the protections of the -1 amendment, or rejecting this bill and working to create legislation that will restore the intent to provide the same protections granted to California’s students as a result of passage of their landmark legislation.