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Under 13 accounts/ age restriction

alec_stephensalec_stephens Member Posts: 5 EDU
I teach 3D CAD  to 11 to 18-year-olds in a UK secondary school. The main factor stopping me from adopting Onshape as the primary CAD system is the issue of the under 13 age restriction. Would it be possible to have an education version where teachers can monitor and control file shares/permissions? I believe the social aspect is the driving factor in the age restriction, so if this could be limited to use within the school organization only, this would presumably avoid the age issue?


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  • alec_stephensalec_stephens Member Posts: 5 EDU
    A school enterprise version would solve the issues for under 13s if properly administrated, would it not? Are there any plans for this?
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 3,406
    @alec_stephens there are no plans to enable enterprise features for education. The age restriction is all about collecting information about minors without parental consent. Do your students have school email accounts they could use? That *may* be permissible since those accounts are controlled (and monitored?) by the school. 

    @john_rousseau what are your thoughts?
  • john_rousseaujohn_rousseau Member, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 264
    Hi @alec_stephens. Neil is right. In the US we are subject to COPPA (https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/childrens-online-privacy-protection-rule) which regulates how we can obtain consent for under 13 year olds. In addition, GDPR specifies the age of consent as being somewhere between 13 and 16 depending on the EU country, but no lower than 13. 

    Getting parental consent is difficult to do over the internet in a way that doesn't invite massive violation of the rules or is overly onerous on the child signing up.

    We continue to look at this, but for right now the current restrictions will need to stand.

    John Rousseau / Director, Technical Operations / Onshape Inc.
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,660 PRO
    Does it need to be linked to the pupil at all?  Could the school set up email accounts [email protected] to [email protected], use those to set up onshape accounts, and then assign an account to a student to use for that year.  It would be a bit like assigning a locker number 0001 to a student for their current year.

    Owen S.
    Business Systems and Configuration Controller
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • alec_stephensalec_stephens Member Posts: 5 EDU
    Many schools like ours use G suite for education or have outlook email addresses. We get parental permission when students enroll, appending an extra tick box for Onhape would be minimal work. We turn off social media aspects for under 13s (youtube, google+  etc.) and enforce sharing within the organization only for students. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Onshape enterprise appears to have the same functionality; i.e allowing the school to control the students to work within the organization only and preventing students from sharing externally. I'm no lawyer, but I'm struggling to see what issues arise if students sign up with existing schools emails (controlled by school) and also controlled through Onshape enterprise? GDPR seems to have caused a lot of over-reaction! Autodesk already has a mechanism to allow students to use tinkercad for under 13s with parental permission.  Many schools are following this route: tinkercad, then fusion 360 at age 13.  I think it would gain Onshape huge market share in the education community if it's legally possible. One to throw over to your legal team?
  • alec_stephensalec_stephens Member Posts: 5 EDU
    Thanks John. It would be great for schools, students and Onshape. I know education is a loss leader for you, but ultimately it will pay off. I started using CAD on UNIX workstations stations many years ago and have used every major CAD platform over the subsequent years. Some of those CAD platforms have seen their market share evaporate in that time; same with the UNIX vendors like SUN Microsystems (amazing technologies). To my mind, the failure of those companies was not pursuing the mass market and lack of marketing guile.  With that frame of reference, I think Onshape is a revolutionary, game-changing product that deserves to be a market leader. kudos to you and your team.
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