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Updated March 29, 2019

Animal Jam

  • 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.
  • Unclear whether this product displays behavioral or contextual advertising.
  • Unclear whether this product allows data collection by third-party advertising or tracking services.
  • Unclear whether this product uses data to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Unclear whether this product allows third parties to 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

Animal Jam is an online animal game for kids where they can play educational animal games in a safe & fun online playground. Animal Jam's terms state they have different methods of chat that players may utilize. The terms specify that parents can control some aspects of chat through their parent account. Animal Jam's terms state they collect anonymous and personally identifiable information such as email, phone number, profile name and address. Animal Jam's terms state they use standard security measures, but do not disclose whether they use encryption for a user's data while in transit or while at rest. Lastly, if a user wants to play Animal Jam, the terms state that they must be at least 18 years old, or must get permission from their parent or guardian.

Animal Jam can be accessed through its website. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use used for this evaluation can be found on Animal Jam’s website. 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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Animal Jam's terms state they have different methods of chat that players may utilize. The terms specify that parents can control some aspects of chat through their parent account. The terms also specify that Animal Jam may collect and use this information to improve the gameplay experience and promote safety. Within the game, parents can access a parent dashboard, which includes gameplay information and their child's chat settings. These settings include multiple privacy levels with the ability to block and report abusive interactions.

The terms also state the service filters and moderates online chat and provides Internet safety guidance to parents. They also filter usernames in an attempt ensure they don't have children’s personal information included in them. In addition, Animal Jam provides tools to children and parents to help them block and report troublesome players.

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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Animal Jam's terms state they collect anonymous and personally identifiable information such as email, phone number, profile name and address. Animal Jam may share a user's information with third parties, service providers, and affiliates. Animal Jam's terms also state they can update their terms at any time, and that using the service after the update indicates that the changes are accepted. The terms specify that notice of updates will be emailed to users, or shared on the site. However, many children will not have stored an email with the vendor, which increases the chances of young people not being informed of changes that could impact them.

Animal Jam's terms state they can "share, transfer or assign" user data to any successor. However, the terms do not provide clear details on any limits on how a successor could use that data, or how users would be notified of any transfer. Lastly, the terms do not disclose whether a user's personal information may be sold to third parties or whether Animal jam displays behavioral advertising to users or engages in ad tracking.

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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Animal Jam's terms state they use standard security measures, but do not disclose whether they use encryption for a user's data while in transit or while at rest. The terms also do not contain sufficient details about any additional security measures, or any training, or safety checks for employees on handling and maintaining data securely.

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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Animal Jam is clearly targeted to children under the age of 13. If a user wants to play Animal Jam, the terms state that they must be at least 18 years old, or must get permission from their parent or guardian. Animal Jam's terms state they collect data that is reasonably necessary for children to participate on the site such as usernames, passwords, gender, age, and chat logs. This data may include Personal Information and Anonymous Information. The terms state a parent can review their child's personal information by contacting Animal jam or using their parent account. The terms also state a parent may also request that the vendor no longer collect personal information from their child or have their child's personal information deleted.

Lastly, the terms state the service requires verifiable consent from a parent or guardian, which means they will take steps to make sure that the parent or legal guardian has given informed consent for their child playing Animal Jam. If this application is being used in a school context, teachers are strongly advised to review their school or district policy on parental consent.

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.