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Lawsuit Raises Concerns Over Students' Online Privacy Rights

By guest blogger Mike Bock

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the New Jersey attorney general has entered a lawsuit against 24x7digital, an educational tech company that may have violated children's privacy rights. According to the lawsuit, one of 24x7digital's apps, "Teach Me: 2nd Grade", collected kids' names and other private information, which the company then sent to a third party. In a later update to The Journal's article, 24x7digital said it has since revised its policy to exclude data collection.

The New Jersey lawsuit adds to the growing concern over children's online privacy. An excerpt from the article:

"Last year, a different company paid $50,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it was collecting personal information from kids in apps. In February, the FTC said that only 16% of the children's apps it studied had a privacy policy that could be accessed before downloading the app."

The discussion of children's privacy rights took a national focus earlier this week, as The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook is exploring options to allow children under 13 years of age on the popular social networking site. Facebook's new platform would need to comply with privacy laws like the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which stipulates that children under 13 are not allowed to give personal information without their parents' consent.

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