Bloomberg reports on efforts by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), co-chairmen of the House caucus on privacy, concerning the privacy of youths:
U.S. Representatives Ed Markey and Joe Barton asked the College Board, owner of the SAT college entrance exam, to explain how it collects and stores data from students as the government seeks to bolster teen privacy laws.
Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Barton, a Republican from Texas, requested the same information from College Board competitor ACT Inc., including disclosure and privacy policies, in letters to the nonprofit organizations today. Copies of the letters were posted on Markey’s website.
Both companies collect data from millions of teenagers annually as they register for SAT and ACT tests and then sell their names and personal information to colleges, which use them in direct marketing to potential applicants. While Markey and Barton introduced a bill this month to expand a children’s online privacy law to teenagers, the proposal doesn’t cover nonprofit companies, such as the College Board and ACT. […]
The letters include 12 groups of questions and asked for a response by June 16. The College Board and ACT were asked whether they make students aware that the information collected doesn’t affect the chances of getting into college and about how secure the data storage is. The congressmen also ask about the sale of the information and who is buying the data. […]
The College Board’s database of student names includes about 5.1 million with e-mail addresses. The New York-based company had $63 million in revenue from its business that includes name-selling in the year ended June 2010. Iowa City, Iowa-based ACT took in $7.5 million in revenue from its Educational Opportunity Service for the most recent year, which ended in August, the company said. It has a database of 2.4 million names of high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.