Licensing v. Selling?

Is licensing personal data the same as selling personal data? What if the data in question is personal data of minors? Can minors consent to such practices?

Last week, a class action was filed in Chicago against a major company that collects personal data of minors. According to the complaint, “Defendant …obtained the students’ personal information through the use of unfair and deceptive practices ….” The complaint alleges defendant “…allowed unauthorized third parties to access and examine the personal information.…” “The unauthorized release to, custody of and examination by unauthorized third parties of … personal information – information that contained sensitive details regarding minor children….”

Allegedly, the company sells minors’ private data to third parties without the consent of the parents/guardians. As the complaint states, “between September 1, 2016 through the present, Defendant …charged between $0.42 and $0.47 per student name sold to a third-party organization….” Apparently, in the past, the company claims that it does not sell such information, but it licenses it.

This case raises several legal issues such as is licensing the same as selling? Can the company sell/license minors’ information without parental consent? Stay tuned…

Best business practice is to always include parental consent when dealing with minors’ personal data. Friendly reminder that minors do not have legal capacity. Any questions? Feel free to contact me.

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For more information:
https://news.wttw.com/2019/12/10/new-lawsuit-claims-college-board-illegally-sold-student-data