SDPC represented at Federal Trade Commission ‘Future of COPPA Workshop’

Steve Smith, co-Founder of the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) and member of the SDPC Governance Group, was invited to participate in the FTC “Future of COPPA Workshop” held in Washington DC, on October 7, 2019. Steve participated on the panel entitled “Definitions, Exceptions and Misconceptions”.  In addition to highlighting the great work of the Student Data Privacy Consortium, Steve emphasized the need to clarify the conflicting requirements where COPPA and FERPA overlap when employing EdTech solutions in schools with children under the age of 13. This continues to be a top area of confusion for schools across the country.


Steve urged the FTC to consider more closely aligning any COPPA rewrites with FERPA, specifically calling attention to the School Official exception and the data protection requirements included there. “Any updates to COPPA should align to and leverage the FERPA protections already in place and clearly establish realistic operational requirements placed upon schools while not hindering schools’ ability to utilize innovative tools to support teaching and learning in today’s classrooms”, said Steve during the closing statements of the panel.


The FTC is still soliciting public comment on the COPPA Rule until October 23, 2019.  All SDPC members are encouraged to submit comments.

Public comments can be submitted online here:

An example of a letter submitted by Steve in support of COPPA alignment with FERPA is available here: