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Updated May 21, 2019

Adobe Spark EDU

  • Intended for children under 13.
  • Collection or use of data is limited to product requirements.
  • Personal information is displayed publicly.
  • Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
  • Notice is provided in the event of a data breach.
  • Parental consent is required.
Indicates that the product meets all our required privacy safeguards, but more research should be completed prior to use.
Use Responsibly
Full evaluation
60
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

Adobe Spark is an integrated web and mobile solution that enables everyone, especially teachers and their students of all ages to easily create and share impactful visual stories. Adobe Spark provides a free, premium, and education version of its product with two different account types: an Adobe ID, or an Enterprise or Federated ID. The account and content of Adobe IDs are owned and controlled by the student, not the school and are better suited to higher education or adult students over 18 years of age. The Enterprise or Federated ID accounts and content are owned and controlled by the school, not the student, and they are required if used by primary or secondary schools with students in K-12 under 18 years of age.

Adobe Spark's terms state they may market, track, and profile students with Adobe IDs, but these features are turned off by default for Enterprise or Federated ID accounts. Adobe's terms state they provide reasonable administrative, technical, and physical security controls to protect a user’s personal information and content. The terms state users must be 13 or older to register for an individual Adobe ID. Lastly, the terms state schools that use the primary and secondary education product are required to register an enterprise-level Adobe ID for a child under 13, but only after obtaining express parental consent.

Adobe Spark can be accessed through its website and supports three different story applications:

  • Spark Video lets users turn their story into a captivating animated narrated video in just minutes and is available for download at the iOS App Store.

  • Spark Page turns stories into modern, professional, attention-grabbing web pages and is available for download at the iOS App Store.

  • Spark Post enables users to create stunning graphics in seconds and is available for download at the iOS App Store, and the Google Play Store.

This evaluation is intended to provide key information about Adobe Spark's collection and use of data for Education users. Where there are terms that differ, as with the limitations on advertising in Adobe Spark for Education for Enterprise or Federated IDs, the Student Policy, and Adobe Spark– A Guide for Schools & Educators takes precedence, followed by the Adobe Privacy Policy. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use used for this evaluation can be found on Adobe Spark’s website. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include:

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.
60

The terms state that Adobe Spark EDU provides interactive features for users to login and engage with social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google. If users use these features, these sites may send Adobe Spark personal information about a user. Schools can also block access to Behance which is a platform that allows users to showcase and discover creative work. Further, Internet image search and Adobe Stock are turned off in Adobe Spark by default for Enterprise or Federated ID accounts. In addition, Adobe Spark allows users to post comments, upload pictures, or submit content which may be publicly available to others. Adobe recommends users be careful when they share their personal information with others and do not share anything they wouldn’t want publicly known unless they are sure they have control over who sees what they post. Lastly, the terms state users are responsible for determining the privacy limitations that are placed on their content and for applying the appropriate level of access to their content. If users do not choose an access level to apply to their content, Adobe Spark may default to its most permissive setting.

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.
60

Adobe's terms state they collect personal information and automatically collect usage information from users of its services. Adobe's terms state they advertise to users in a variety of ways, including displaying Adobe ads to users on other companies' websites and apps and on social media platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Adobe's terms also state their websites use cookies and similar technologies provided by their own company and other companies that allow Adobe to track and gather additional information to measure and improve the effectiveness of their advertising.

Adobe Spark EDU's terms state they may market, track, and profile students with Adobe IDs, but these features are turned off by default for Enterprise or Federated ID accounts. However, the terms state Adobe does not share personal information about users with third parties for their own marketing purposes unless the consumer agreed to that sharing. The terms also state Adobe will not sell student data from any type of student account to third parties and will not use personal information in student records to target advertising to any type of account.

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.
73

Adobe's terms state they provide reasonable administrative, technical, and physical security controls to protect a user’s personal information and content. The terms also state users' personal information and files are stored on Adobe’s servers and they support encryption of personal information while in transit and at rest. Lastly, Adobe's terms state they will notify the student or school in accordance with the relevant breach notification law.

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.
65

Adobe Spark provides a free, premium, and education version of its product with two different account types: an Adobe ID, or an Enterprise or Federated ID. The account and content of Adobe IDs are owned and controlled by the student, not the school and are better suited to higher education or adult students over 13 years of age. The Enterprise or Federated ID accounts and content are owned and controlled by the school, not the student, and they are required if used by primary or secondary schools with students in K-12 under 18 years of age.

A student may sign up directly with an Adobe ID, and agree to Adobe's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In addition, a school may claim their domain with Adobe and use Enterprise or Federated IDs with students using Adobe’s admin console tool. The terms state users must be 13 or older to register for an individual Adobe ID. The terms also state schools with primary and secondary education students may issue a child under 13 an enterprise-level Adobe ID, but only after obtaining express parental consent. The following compliance obligations apply depending on the student account type:

Adobe ID

The terms state Adobe cannot agree to act as a ‘school official’ for FERPA purposes as the user agreement is with the individual student, not with the school. However, Adobe's terms state they will respond to data access, correction, and deletion requests about user account information made by an authenticated student. In addition, students can self-access, correct, and delete their own stored content at any time.

Enterprise or Federated ID

The terms state Adobe contractually agrees to act as ‘school official’ for FERPA purposes, and to secure student data accordingly. As a data processor for the school, Adobe's terms state they give schools the tools they need to promptly respond to account data access, correction, and deletion requests submitted to them by students or their parents. However, only schools, not students, are empowered to access, correct, and delete student accounts and stored content.

Educators should be aware the FTC’s guidance indicates that an operator such as Adobe acting as a ‘school official’ does not need to obtain direct consent from parents of students using the service—even if they are under the age of 13. COPPA allows schools to act as either as an intermediary for parental consent or “the parent’s agent in the process of collecting personal information online from students in the school context,” where the operator collects users’ personal information only for the use and benefit of the school.

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.