There they go again.

As Congress moves forward with legislation to provide meaningful privacy protections for students and their families, the Software and Information Industry Association is busy working behind the scenes to undermine any bill that would restrict their ability to market their products to our children.

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What’s more insidious is the way the industry is hoping to use federal legislation as a tool to undo strong privacy protections that have passed in California, New Hampshire and other states across the country.

In a letter sent to Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) earlier this month, the SIAA argued that, “it is necessary that any new authority preempt the overlapping state laws and harmonize the multiple overlapping federal laws including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Translation: While they work to gut the existing bill, the software lobby would still like to see sham legislation passed as a way to surreptitiously void the progress we’ve made in a handful of states in recent years to protect students’ personal information from software vendors who want the ability to market to our children with no restrictions, consequences or accountability.

That, in a nutshell, is the software industry’s idea of “harmony.”

Thanks to recent actions by a handful of state Legislatures, there are now nearly 8 million students covered by enhanced privacy protections. The industry continues to work tirelessly to weaken or repeal those safeguards, and is now looking to Congress to do its dirty work in one fell swoop.

But there’s more. The letter goes on to deem many of the common sense protections passed in California, and suggested in pending bi-partisan House and Senate bills, as “unnecessary.” Among these so-called frivolous protections mentioned are safeguards against allowing companies to retain student information for targeted commercial advertising, and a requirement that ed-tech vendors provide school districts with information about subvendors who may also be accessing student and family personal data.

The SIAA letter illustrates the political tone-deafness among many in the ed-tech industry, and the subtle ways in which they work behind the scenes to continue to undermine student and family privacy in hopes of padding their bottom line. To some in the education software industry, the ultimate goal is to ensure Congress does nothing to limit their ability to market to our children, using data collected in our schools to build out customer profiles that will help these companies sell products – nothing, that is, except to limit the rights of states to establish their own law in this important and growing field.

To this handful of bad actors, any effort by parents to stand up to this fundamental violation of our privacy is deemed an effort to stifle innovation or create unnecessary hoops for software vendors to jump through.

But there’s nothing frivolous or unnecessary about the need to protect the private and sensitive information of parents and students, and there is no reason why commonsense protections cannot co-exist with innovation. Education technology offers new and needed opportunities in the classroom and the home for learning. As the use of this exciting education technology continues to spread, and with an ever-powerful software industry spending money on lobbying and campaign contributions, it is increasingly important for members of Congress to understand what is at risk, and for families and advocates to stand up and fight to ensure basic privacy protections that we as Americans expect in our daily lives.

It is encouraging to see the bipartisan collaboration of Senators and members of the House working on legislation that balances the privacy needs of students with the innovative nature of education technology. Proponents should stand firm against the software lobby and their allies on behalf of students and their families.  There is a lot at stake.

Steyer is CEO of Common Sense Media.