Internet Privacy, Safety Package Becomes Law in Delaware

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Delaware Governor Jack Markell has signed into law four pieces of legislation that offer citizens and children in the state increased privacy and protection during their online excursions.

Under the new law, made up of four acts, educational technology service providers will not be allowed to sell or otherwise distribute the personal information of school-aged children or use it to target advertisements to students or their families.  In addition, companies will not be able to advertise inappropriate products, including cigarettes and alcohol, on mobile apps and websites geared toward children.

“While the internet has revolutionized the way we live and work, and made possible countless advances in our society, we must also recognize that it has made our citizens’ personal information more vulnerable than ever,” said Governor Markell. “Some restrictions on how personal information is shared are reasonable and I commend the legislators, Attorney General Denn and everyone involved in working on these bills for finding a balance between online commerce and personal privacy.”

The Online Privacy and Protection Act also requires websites and apps to disclose any “personally identifiable information” collected pertaining to users and how that information will be used in a privacy policy.  Online book services will not be allowed to disclose the reading habits of its customers without a court order, as “what people read can reveal or imply much about them.”

The Student Data Privacy Protection Act looks to protect the private information of students who use technology throughout their education. Under the new legislation, education technology service providers will not be allowed sell student data or use the data to advertise to individuals.  Data will not be able to be collected for non-educational purposes and will require “reasonable procedures and practices for ensuring the security of student data they collect or maintain.”

The law includes two additional acts which work to protect the citizens of the state.  The Victim Online Privacy Act protects the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by keeping personal information off the internet.  The Employee/Applicant Protection for Social Media Act would no longer allow employers to demand access to their employee’s personal social media accounts.

Under the new law, educational service providers will be required to protect any student data collected and must delete any data if requested to do so by a school district.  The new law will also see the creation of a Student Data Privacy Task Force.