Privacy Evaluation for PBS Kids WordWorld
In PBS Word World, words come alive, words save the day, and words become a child's best friend. The terms state the service provides safe social interactions between users and allows for the collection of comments and other information that children post through interactive online features. The terms also specify they do not rent or sell information to third parties and will not use children's collected personal information for any marketing, online advertising, or third-party tracking that would directly identify a child. In addition, the terms state the service is committed to protecting parents and their children's information. The terms disclose they do not have actual knowledge that personal information from children under 13 years of age or education records from students in K-12 settings are collected by the service.
The terms state the service provides safe social interactions between users and allows for the collection of comments and other information that children post through interactive online features. If a child user chooses to create an account, they will be required to create a custom username. The terms state child usernames are moderated with the aim of preventing children from using any personal information to create an account. In addition, the terms state social interactions and user generated content is either canned or moderated to avoid collecting personal information. Lastly, the terms specify the service avoids making any personal information publicly visible to others in order to help maintain a safe environment for users.
The terms state the service does not collect information that directly identifies a child. However, the terms also describe that the service may collect information about a user's device, including hardware model, operating system version, IP address, and unique identifiers. The terms also specify they do not rent or sell information to third parties and will not use children's collected personal information for any marketing, online advertising, or third-party tracking that would directly identify a child. Lastly, the terms state the service may share a user's aggregated or de-identified information with third parties for their own product development or research purposes.
The terms state the service is committed to protecting parents and their children's information. The terms specify they have adopted reasonable technical, administrative, and physical procedures to help protect users' information from loss, misuse, and alteration, including encryption of passwords and information in transit. Additionally, the terms state a child is not required to create an account in order to use the services. However, users may want to do so in order to save their progress, settings, or content created while using the services. Lastly, the terms state the service will provide users notification in the case of a data breach.
The terms disclose they do not have actual knowledge that personal information from children under 13 years of age or education records from students in K-12 settings are collected by the service. However, parents and educators should be aware that the service would likely appeal to students and children under 13 years of age and therefore would be subject to COPPA and FERPA regulations. This determination takes several factors into account, including subject matter, visual content, age of models, and the activities provided.
The terms also state that the service will obtain a parent or legal guardian's consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children. However, the terms are unclear how verified parental consent is actually requested or obtained. The terms specify that parents or legal guardians may contact the company to ask if the service has collected their child's personal information, to review that information, and request that the company stop collecting any information, or have it deleted. Additionally, the terms disclose the service is not required to provide any modification, access, correction, deletion, or portability requests to users because the service claims they have no actual knowledge children under 13 years of age or students in K-12 are using the service. If this service is used within a school context, teachers and school staff are strongly encouraged to review how their school or district defines education records, and whether the activities within the service would create educational records.
What data does it collect?
- Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected.
- The categories of collected personally identifiable information are indicated.
- Collection or use of data is limited to product requirements.
- Geolocation data are collected.
- Biometric or health data are not collected.
- Behavioral data are collected.
- Unclear whether this product collects sensitive data.
- Non-personally identifiable information is collected.
- Unclear whether this product treats combined information as personally identifiable information (PII).
- Personal information from children under 13 years of age is collected online.
What data does it share?
- Collected information is shared with third parties.
- The categories of information shared with third parties are indicated.
- The purpose for sharing a user's personal information with third parties is indicated.
- Unclear whether use of information is limited to the purpose for which it was collected.
- Data are shared for analytics.
- Data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
- Data are shared with third-party service providers.
- Unclear whether the roles of third-party service providers are indicated.
- Unclear whether this product supports social or federated login.
- Unclear whether contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
How does it secure data?
- Unclear whether a user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
- Account creation is not required.
- Parental controls or managed accounts are available.
- Unclear whether two-factor account protection is available.
- Unclear whether third-party contractual security protections are required.
- Industry best practices are used to protect data.
- Employee or physical access to user information is limited.
- All data in transit are encrypted.
- All data at rest are encrypted.
- Notice is provided in the event of a data breach.
What rights do I have to the data?
- Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
- Users can control their information through privacy settings.
- Users can create or upload content.
- Unclear whether users retain ownership of their data.
- Processes to access and review user data are not available.
- Processes to modify inaccurate data are not available.
- A data-retention policy is available.
- Processes for the school, parents, or students to delete data are available.
- Processes to delete user data are not available.
- Processes to download user data are not available.
Is the data sold?
- Data are not sold or rented to third parties.
- Users can opt out from the disclosure or sale of their data to a third party.
- User information can be transferred to a third party.
- Unclear whether users are notified if their information is transferred to a third party.
- Unclear whether user information can be deleted prior to its transfer to a third party.
- Unclear whether third-party transfers are contractually required to use the same privacy practices.
- User information is shared in an anonymous or deidentified format.
- Unclear whether the vendor describes their deidentification process of user information.
- Data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
- Unclear whether contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying deidentified information.
How safe is this product?
- Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
- Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
- Profile information is not shared for social interactions.
- Personal information is not displayed publicly.
- Unclear whether this product allows users to control how their data are displayed.
- User-created content is reviewed, screened, or monitored by the vendor.
- User-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
- Social interactions between users are moderated.
- Unclear whether social interactions of users are logged.
- Unclear whether users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
- Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
- Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
- Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.
- Data are not collected by third-party advertising or tracking services.
- Data are not used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
- Data profiles are not created and used for data enhancement, and/or targeted advertisements.
- The vendor can send marketing messages.
- Unclear whether this vendor provides promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
- Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to opt-out of traditional, contextual, or behavioral advertising.
- Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Can I provide parental consent?
- Intended for children under 13.
- Intended for parents or guardians.
- Vendor does not have actual knowledge that personal information from users under 13 years of age is collected.
- Unclear whether children's privacy is applicable.
- Unclear whether this product indicates COPPA parental consent exceptions.
- Parental consent is required.
- Unclear whether this product limits parental consent with respect to third parties.
- Parents can withdraw consent for the further collection of their child's information.
- Unclear whether this product deletes children's personal information if collected without parental consent.
- Unclear whether this product provides parental consent notice and method for submission.
Is the product intended for school?
- Intended for students.
- Personal information or education records are not collected from preK-12 students.
- Unclear whether intended for teachers.
- Product is not primarily used by, designed for, and marketed toward students in grades preK–12.
- Unclear whether the product creates education records.
- Unclear whether this product provides notification of a contract or additional rights.
- Unclear whether this product designates the vendor as a school official.
- Unclear whether this product transfers parental consent obligations to the school or district.
- Unclear whether the vendor indicates FERPA parental consent exceptions.
- Unclear whether this product discloses directory information.