RYH Action statement in support of Sen. Durbin's Clean Slate for Kids Act

US Senator Dick Durbin announced the introduction of the Clean Slate for Kids Act today at the IIT-Kent Law School in Chicago, and Raise Your Hand Action was among the groups speaking in support of this bill. RYH Action statement and video below.

Watch a video of the press conference here. Sen. Durbin was also joined by speakers from Illinois PIRG and Edelson, a law firm that specializes in data privacy litigation. Cassie Creswell spoke on behalf of RYH Action. You can read more about what we'd like to see comprehensive student privacy legislation cover here.


My name is Cassie Creswell. I’m a parent of two children under 13, and I’m co-director of a grassroots parent group, Raise Your Hand Action. Raise Your Hand Action advocates for high-quality public education for all Illinois children. In recent years, we have become more and more concerned with the privacy and security of the ever-growing amounts of digital data collected on and from children, in and out of school. And as such, we’re very pleased that Senator Durbin is introducing the Clean Slate For Kids Act. This is an important step in protecting our children’s private personal information.

With the rapid pace of technological change, even adults cannot be expected to foresee fully how personal data collected and shared today may have negative consequences in years to come.

Children under the age of thirteen most certainly do not have the cognitive capacity to grasp the implications of their online footprint and should not be expected to. Childhood is a time of growth, experimentation and development. The mistakes and challenges of childhood should not be part of a record that could follow a child into adulthood and hamper his/her chance of future success.

The Clean Slate for Kids Act acknowledges this fact, and creates clear, enforceable federal policy to further protect children’s personally identifiable information.

Raise Your Hand Action has been trying at the state level to pass legislation that would let parents know what data is being collected about their children in public school and what’s being done with that data. And we’ve had difficulty thus far getting this basic legislation passed due to massive opposition from lobbyists from both the tech industry and school management organizations.

We would like to see the state of Illinois and the federal government affirm the principles upheld by the new privacy law enacted in the EU: the sole owner of an individual’s personal data is that individual, and control over one’s personal information, that is the ability to review, correct and delete this data, must be in the hands of the person whose data it is, or with their parent or guardian if they are under age 18.

We'd like to see this ability to delete data affirmed in statute for all Americans, but if we are starting somewhere, beginning with a population that deserves the most protected status, children, makes sense. Thank you to Senator Durbin for showing leadership on this critical issue.

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