Student Data Privacy Bill Advances In Colo. State House

<p>(Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)</p>
<p>The Colorado State Capitol.</p>

A state House committee Monday gave the green light to a bill that supporters say would protect the anonymity of students’ data in Colorado's public schools.

Bill sponsors say every time students log onto their school internet account, they can be tracked, so the lawmakers want a law in place that would prohibit manufacturers from data mining for students’ personally identifiable information.

The legislation also requires schools to disclose what programs and apps students use, and specifically defines how manufactures retain and store collected data.

"Once privacy is lost, it is impossible almost to get it back," said the ACLU of Colorado’s Denise Maes, who testified in favor of the bill."Parents for the most part have no idea or remain largely unaware of how much data is collected about their children, with whom it is shared, if it’s shared at all, where it stored, how long it’s stored and why it’s even collected in the first instance."

No one testified against it although an educational software representative expressed concerns that the bill could have unintended consequences, like preventing parents from sharing their children’s information with tutors.

The bill now goes to the full House for debate.