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I am working on an educational app for the iOS App Store. The app requires teachers and students, so the teachers would have to encourage students to download it. I was recently advised that I should check on what laws I would have to put disclaimers in the app for. Does anybody know any major laws that I would have to look at when making educational apps? Thanks for your help.

Edit - More specifics-

  1. Teachers and students both create accounts
  2. Only asking for first name, last name, and password
  3. I take in any other info
  4. Users can see other users' names in the class
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One thing that may apply is the collection of personal information.

To put this into perspective...

Stack Exchange does not allow anyone under the age of 13 because of personal information laws. In particular, Stack Exchange cannot knowingly collect personal information from minors without the consent of their parent or guardian.

I could imagine the same thing applying here.

If your application were to collect personal information from your students, you would need to have the consent of the parents or guardians. There may be some exceptions to this however: if the school board were to adopt the software, they could draft it as a part of the technology policy and agreement that students generally sign (with their parents) at the beginning of the year.

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  • Haha, glad I could help. I'm not from the United States though, so there could likely be other things that apply. Might want to look into that :) – Zizouz212 Jan 18 '16 at 23:52
  • Ok. I will double check them! – Pranav Wadhwa Jan 18 '16 at 23:52
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There are lots of US laws related to privacy and protection of minors. Your question is possibly too broad.

Which laws are applicable probably depends on what you are trying to do -- so just mentioning a few things which I can think of as relevant:

You generally cann't track and advertise to people you believe are minors. Maine was one of the first states making this explicit, but there may be others. The age limit varies from state-to-state. Communication probably also needs to be secured in ways were every communication is privileged and walled from any usage outside the intended purpose. You may also consider that since minors have no authority to enter into a legal agreement that the child itself cannot agree to the use of the application but will need a parent to do so on their behalf.

Depending of what your app consider a teacher, you may also need to do something to make sure that teachers are in fact trusted and authenticated people. If anybody can be a teacher what will prevent a pedophile in create a "teacher account"?

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  • If someone who is not a teacher becomes one, there is no point. Students can only join classes they have names for. – Pranav Wadhwa Jan 18 '16 at 23:22
  • Also, what should be in a legal agreement? I have never done this before, and I have no clue where to start. – Pranav Wadhwa Jan 18 '16 at 23:24
  • You would need a layer; explain to him exactly how you application works and he will be able to draft the agreement – Soren Jan 18 '16 at 23:30
  • Ok. I will look in to getting a lawyer. – Pranav Wadhwa Jan 18 '16 at 23:31

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