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Internet Safety

Bill A592: Prohibits Dissemination of Personal Student Information on the Internet Without Parental Consent

On January 8, 2002, Bill A592, as listed below, was passed by the legislature.

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

The board of education of each school district and the board of trustees of each charter school that establishes an Internet web site, shall not disclose on that web site any personally identifiable information about a student without receiving prior written consent from the student's parent or guardian on a form developed by the Department of Education. The written consent form shall contain a statement concerning the potential dangers of personally identifiable information about individual students on the Internet.

As used in this act, "personally identifiable information" means student names, student photos, student addresses, student e-mail addresses, student phone numbers, and locations and times of class trips.

This act shall take effect immediately.

In accordance with Bill A592, the attached form is approved by the Department of Education and is the official form to be used for parent/guardian approval of student personal information to be posted to a school or district web site. As such, this consent form should be used immediately by all public schools in New Jersey.

Any personally identifiable student information currently on any district or school-based Internet site should be removed as soon as practicable if the parental consent form is not obtained from the student's parent or legal guardian.

Parents or guardians must execute the consent form for all students before the school may post any student's personally identifiable information or photograph on the Internet.

The Children's Internet Protection Act

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was signed into law on December 21, 2000. Under CIPA, no school or library may receive discounts unless it certifies that it is enforcing a policy of Internet safety that includes the use of filtering or blocking technology. This Internet Safety Policy must protect against access, through computers with Internet access, to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or (in the case of use by minors) harmful to minors. The school must also certify that it is enforcing the operation of such filtering or blocking technology during any use of such computers by minors. The law is effective for Funding Year 2001 (07/01/2001 to 06/30/2002) and for all future years.

Compliance with the requirements of CIPA

These requirements are:

1. Technology Protection Measure

A Technology Protection Measure is a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access. It must protect against access by adults and minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or - with respect to use of computers with Internet access by minors - harmful to minors. It may be disabled for adults engaged in bona fide research or other lawful purposes. For schools, the policy must also include monitoring the online activities of minors.

2. Internet Safety Policy

The Internet Safety Policy must address the following issues:

1.. access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web;

2.. the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications;

3.. unauthorized access, including so-called "hacking," and other unlawful activities by minors online;

4.. unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and

5.. measures designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors.

3. Public Notice and Hearing

The authority with responsibility for administration of the school or library must provide reasonable public notice and hold at least one public hearing to address a proposed Technology Protection Measure and Internet Safety Policy.