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Updated November 21, 2018

HMH Fuse: Algebra 2, Common Core Edition

  • Privacy policies do indicate a version or effective date.
  • Data are not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Data are shared for advertising or marketing.
  • Behavioral or contextual advertising is displayed.
  • Data are 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 cannot 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

HMH Fuse Algebra 2 Common Core Edition gives every student a personalized learning experience using video tutorials, MathMotion step-by-step examples, homework help, quizzes, tips, hints, and many other integrated features to teach, review, and assess all concepts. The terms specify that the Service may allow users to create their own profile, which may be displayed publicly or semi-publicly. The terms state that the service may collect Personal Information and Demographic Information from users. In addition, the terms state that all data sent to and from their platform are protected via Transport Layer Security, or TLS. Teachers are strongly encouraged to review the parental consent procedures within their school or district before sharing student information.

HMH Fuse Algebra 2, Common Core Edition is available for download at the iOS App Store. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use used for this evaluation can be found on HMH Fuse Algebra 2’s iOS App Store. Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include: Intervention Technology Privacy Policy and K-12 Learning Platforms Privacy Policy. 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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HMH Fuse Algebra 2 Common Core Edition's terms specify that the service may allow users to create their own profile, which may be displayed publicly or semi-publicly. The terms state that a user's profile page may be set up to display information such as the user's display name, images, location, groups that the user has joined, and optional information added by the user including -- for example -- the user's tagline, photographs and educational materials.

The terms state that the user can post to chat rooms, message boards, other user's profiles, bulletin boards, or similar forums. The terms describe that these interactions may be public or semi-public, and could potentially be accessible via search. The terms state that the Service may also publish a user's name, voice, likeness and other Personal Information that is part of their User Content, and they may use the content, or any portion of the content, for advertising, marketing, publicity and promotional activities.

Lastly, the terms state that a user may send messages or invitations from the Service, and that people sending messages from the service should be aware that their e-mail address, mobile number, name and/or user name may be included along with any message.

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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The terms specify that the service may collect Personal Information and Demographic Information from users. In addition, the service may automatically collect non-personal usage information when a user visits or interacts with the service. The terms state that on mobile devices, the service might track a device's location. The Service may also combine a user’s non-personally identifiable Demographic Information or Usage Information with the Personal Information they collect directly on the Service, but will treat the combined data as Personal Information. However, the terms also state that the Service may change their Privacy Policy at any time without notice to a user.

The terms state that the service may share a user’s non-Personal Information, such as aggregated user statistics or data related to a user and their activities, with third parties. However, the terms state that Personal Information will not be shared with third parties for direct marketing purposes unless the user provides consent. Users should be aware that the terms state that a person's name, voice, likeness and other Personal Information that is part of their User Content could be used for advertising, marketing, publicity and promotional activities.

Additionally, the Service may supplement the information they collect directly from users on the Service with external information from third parties. The terms state that third parties, including advertisers and advertising service providers, may collect information about users. These third parties may use their own tracking technologies on a user’s Device, or collect a user’s personal Information. While the terms state that the Service will not use Personally identifiable information to target ads, they also state that a user may be served with targeted and contextual advertising, including location-based advertising.

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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The terms state that all data sent to and from their platform are protected via Transport Layer Security, or TLS. The terms also specify that data that are covered under COPPA or FERPA are encrypted at rest whenever possible. The terms state that if the Service is not able to encrypt data, the Service will use other means to protect that data. The terms do not provide clear information on whether or not sensitive information that is not covered under COPPA or FERPA is encrypted at rest.

In the terms, the Company describes that privacy and information security training is provided to employees. They also describe how access to personal information is limited to specific employees. The Company uses third-party cloud service providers in the delivery and operation of their learning platform, and data is stored on the servers of their cloud service providers. The terms describe contractual requirements in place with these cloud service providers that are designed to protect user data.

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 specify that the tools and services covered under their policies are designed for teachers and schools working with K12 students. The terms highlight that, under COPPA, schools can provide consent for parents for online tools used for an educational purpose. The terms also state that the Company meets the criteria for a "school official" under FERPA.

The terms specify that the service does not knowingly collect Personal Information from children under the age of 13 without verified parental consent - and for applications used within schools, the terms state that this consent can be provided by the school. However, if personal information is collected, the service allows users to access, update, or correct their Personal Information.

The service states they meet FERPA's requirements for qualifying as a school official because they give the school direct control over the use and maintenance of the education records. The terms also state that the Service does not re-disclose or use this personal information except for the purposes of providing the learning platform to the school.

The terms state that the Service posts additional information or a separate Children's Privacy Policy on any website or app store page for a Service directed to children under 13 years of age. These additional policies explain what types of Personal Information may be collected, and what options parents have to approve or limit collection from children. However, this means that users will need to navigate five different sets of policies to determine the privacy and data security practices of the Service.

Teachers are strongly encouraged to review the parental consent procedures within their school or district before sharing student information.

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.