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Updated April 18, 2018

ABCya

  • Privacy polices do indicate a version or effective date.
  • Unclear whether data are sold or rented to third parties.
  • Data are shared for advertising or marketing.
  • Behavioral or contextual advertising is not displayed.
  • Data are not collected by third-party advertising or tracking services.
  • Data are used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Third parties can use data to create ad profiles, data enhancement, and/or targeted advertisements.
The criteria for "Use with Caution" are narrowly focused around data uses related to creating profiles that aren't related to any educational purpose, and using data to target ads. We include both first party (ie, the vendor that builds the service) and third party (any company given access by the vendor) data use. It's worth highlighting that using data to profile students violates multiple state laws, and in some cases also violates federal law.

A service can be designated "Use with Caution" for either a lack of transparency around data use -- which creates the potential for profiling and behavioral targeting -- or for clearly stating that they use data to target advertisements and/or create profiles. As with any application being considered for use within schools, school and/or district staff should review the privacy policies and terms of service to ensure that they meet the legal and practical requirements of their state laws and school policies.

As with the "Not Recommended" criteria, a "Use with Caution" designation is NOT a sign that a vendor is necessarily doing anything unethical or illegal. It is a sign that, based on publicly available policies,  we do not have adequate guarantees that data will not be used by first or third parties to create non-educational profiles or to target behavioral ads.
Use with Caution
Full evaluation
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Overall Scoreinfo-bubble

This overall score represents how the service addressed all our evaluation questions. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive policies.

Overview

ABCya provides free and subscription based educational games for millions of kids, parents, and teachers who visit ABCya.com each month, playing over 1 billion games last year. The terms of ABCya do not disclose whether any social interactions are available between users, or whether any personal information or content may be made publicly visible to others. ABCya's terms state they collect personal information such as first and last name, mailing address, email address, or telephone number, and other information collected automatically when users visit the Service. In addition, ABCya's terms state they take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality and security of personal information collected from users of the Service. The terms of ABCya state they may occasionally collect a child's first name and online contact information (typically, an e-mail address) when using the service and require parental consent to be obtained beforehand.

ABCya can be accessed through its website, and is available for download at the iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, and Amazon Appstore. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use used for this evaluation can be found on ABCya’s website, iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, and Amazon Appstore. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Read the Common Sense standard privacy report (SPR)arrow
The standard privacy report (SPR) displays the most important privacy practices from a product’s polices in a single easy-to-read outline. The report displays an alert when a particular privacy practice is risky, unclear, or not evaluated. This alert indicates more time should be focused on these particular details prior to use.
SafetyPromoting responsible use
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Evaluating safety takes into consideration best practices that protect a user's physical and emotional health. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to safety.
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The terms of ABCya do not disclose whether any social interactions are available between users, or whether any personal information or content may be made publicly visible to others.

PrivacyProtecting collected information
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Evaluating privacy takes into consideration best practices that protect the disclosure of a user's personal information. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to privacy.
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ABCya's terms state they collect personal information such as first and last name, mailing address, email address, or telephone number, and other information collected automatically when users visit the Service. Additionally, the terms state when users download and use ABCya’s mobile applications, they don’t require users to provide any information. The terms specify that they will not condition a child's participation in any activity on the child disclosing more than is reasonably necessary to participate in an activity.

ABCya's terms state they may provide information, products, or services that they believe could be of interest to users, including special offers from ABCya and other companies. The terms also state unless users purchase an ad-free subscription, the Service may display advertisements, which are served by third-party companies. However, the terms state advertisements are not targeted to a specific user, because they only use contextual advertising methods and not interest-based advertising methods. Lastly, ABCya’s terms also specify they work with advertising companies to serve their advertisements to users elsewhere online.

SecurityProtecting against unauthorized access
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Evaluating security takes into consideration best practices that protect the integrity and confidentiality of a user's data. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to security.
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ABCya's terms state they take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality and security of personal information collected from users of the Service. In addition, the terms specify they take reasonable steps to release children's personal information to only service providers and third parties who are capable of and have agreed to maintain the confidentiality and security of that information. However, the terms do not disclose whether they encrypt collected information while in transit, or while at rest and whether the notify users in the event of a data breach.

ComplianceFollowing statutory laws and regulations
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Evaluating compliance takes into consideration best practices of companies that collect personal information from children or students and the legal obligations for the privacy and security of that information. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to compliance.
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The terms of ABCya state they may occasionally collect a child's first name and online contact information (typically, an e-mail address) when using the service and require parental consent to be obtained beforehand. The terms also specify that Parents have the right to review, modify, and request that ABCya delete any personal information that the Service has collected and retained about their child. Lastly, the terms state the Service provides educational games that are easy to use and classroom friendly, and teachers should consult their school or district's policies if ABCya is used in the classroom to create an educational record for students.

About Privacy Evaluations

The privacy evaluations have been designed with the help and support of a consortium of schools and districts across the United States. These evaluations are designed to streamline making an informed decision about the potential privacy implications of educational technology used to support teaching and learning.

Our core evaluation criteria are freely available and will remain freely available. People are encouraged to read the questions we use and the information security primer we released. Vendors are encouraged to use our questions and the information security primer to self-evaluate. You can also learn more about our evaluation process.

Please be in touch with any questions or feedback.