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AB 1442 – School Districts’ Gathering of Social Media Restrained; Notice Required

Some school districts or county offices of education have opted to collect information posted by their students through social media.  While this practice is still permitted, Assembly Bill 1442, effective January 1, 2015, introduces a number of requirements and restrictions that school districts need to be aware of.

Specifically, districts may only gather data that directly relates to school or pupil safety, and must delete that data after a student turns 18 or leaves the district.  In addition, districts must provide access to any stored data to the student and his or her parents.

If an agency is considering this kind of data collection, both pupils and parents must be notified of the program and be given the opportunity to comment on it at a regularly scheduled public meeting.  If the program is implemented, notice must also be provided to all pupils and parents subject to the program, along with instructions describing how the data can be accessed or corrected.

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Finally, if a district has outsourced social media data collection to a third party, the contract between the district and third party must contain the same restrictions.  That is, the data collected must relate to school or pupil safety, and the third party must delete the data if the child turns 18 or leaves the district.  The contract must also require the third party to delete any data at the conclusion of the contract, as well as prohibit the sale of any collected information.

If you have any questions regarding the requirements and restrictions imposed by the passage of AB 1442, or any legal issue affecting your school district or county office of education, please contact Kingsley Bogard LLP.