The BSA has a site devoted to BSA Digital Safety and Online Scouting Activity Guidelines. These detail how to keep members safe in online activities - particularly in the COV-19 environment.
BSA Digital Safety and Online Scouting Activities site here
As Scouting moves to virtual and online platforms, we offer the following reminders to help keep kids safe. The below guidance applies to all online Scouting activities and meetings.
Note: Some states may have legal requirements that differ from, and even go beyond, what is provided here. It is your responsibility to check and abide by your state laws and consult your local council when reviewing and applying the following guidance, which is not comprehensive.
Follow all youth protection policies.All youth protection policies still apply in an online environment. Ensure you always have two-deep leadership for online activities and meetings. Our ban on one-on-one contact between an adult leader and youth applies to all interactions – whether in person, online, through a web conference, over the phone, via text, or in any other form. All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents, and the BSA suggests parents take part in online activities and meetings.
Use business-oriented conference platforms instead of platforms with other primary purposes (such as gaming).Examples of business-oriented conference platforms: Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting. Examples of platforms that are not recommended: Discord, Roblox, and Twitch. Please review the terms of service, safety and privacy features, and data collection policies of any platform you use, and review the BSA Digital Privacy and Social Media Guidelines linked below.
Do not record online activities/meetingsCall recording is subject to various legal requirements under U.S. law and the laws of individual states, some of which require all parties to a call consent to recording. Considering those potential regulatory risks, the BSA does not authorize the recording of online meetings/activities.
Safeguard personal information.If you collect a person’s personal information online—for example, through web forms used to register people for online meetings—then you should post a notice or disclosure at the point of collection describing how you will use the information. The notice should be conspicuous and written in plain English. Meeting organizers must keep such information private and not share a youth’s personal information with anyone except that youth’s parent or guardian or the unit leader responsible for tracking advancements. For example, a merit badge counselor should not publicly post or otherwise show a roster with personal information of Scouts the counselor has worked with.
Collecting personal information from youth under 13 is not recommended.Do not collect personal information directly from youth under 13 years of age due to the parental notice and consent requirements under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). You should collect any data needed from the parent or legal guardian only.