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Privacy Evaluation for Pinterest

Last updated June 14, 2019

Overview

Pinterest allows users to explore over 100 billion new ideas for every part of their life, from what haircut to get to what to make for dinner. The terms state information on a board may be made publicly visible, but there is a way to restrict access to a secret board. Pinterest's policy includes offering users personalized content and advertisements that they think the user will be interested in based on information they collect from the user and from third parties. Pinterest's policy says that they work to protect the security of user content and accounts, but that Pinterest can’t guarantee that unauthorized third parties won’t be able to defeat their security measures. Lastly, Pinterest's policy states that children under 13 are not allowed to use Pinterest.

Pinterest 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 Pinterest’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.

Safety

Pinterest's policy explains that the service and all content on Pinterest is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied. It seems that content and interactions between users are not moderated. However, the terms state the service may take down inappropriate content or terminate accounts that violate their Community Guidelines. The terms state information on a board may be made publicly visible, but there is a way to restrict access to a secret board. Secret boards are visible to the user and other collaborators in the board, but any collaborator may choose to make the board available to anyone else.

Privacy

When a user signs up for Pinterest, the policy indicates that they ask for a name, email address, phone number, profile photo, pins, comments, and any other information the user offers. Users can choose to share location data or photos with Pinterest. In addition, if a user buys something on Pinterest, the policy notes that they collect payment information, contact information (address and phone number) and details of what the user bought. If the user buys something for someone else on Pinterest, the company's policy notes that they will collect their delivery details and contact information. Pinterest's policy includes offering users personalized content and advertisements that they think the user will be interested in based on information they collect from the user and from third parties.

Security

Pinterest's policy says that they work to protect the security of user content and accounts, but that Pinterest can’t guarantee that unauthorized third parties won’t be able to defeat their security measures. They ask users to report if their accounts have been compromised. There is no discussion of encryption in the policy or whether users are notified in the event of a data breach.

Compliance

Pinterest's policy states that children under 13 are not allowed to use Pinterest. There is no discussion of COPPA or FERPA regulations, or discussion of use of Pinterest in a school or education context. Pinterest's policy reserves the right to remove or modify user content, or change the way it’s used in Pinterest, for any reason. This includes user content that Pinterest believes violates their terms, their community guidelines, or any other policies. Lastly, the terms state Pinterest is certified under Privacy Shield for international transfers of information.

Data Collection
SCORE: 50%

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 not limited to product requirements.
  • Geolocation data are collected.
  • Unclear whether this product collects biometric or health data.
  • Behavioral data are collected.
  • Sensitive data are collected.
  • 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 not collected online.
Data Sharing
SCORE: 65%

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.
  • The roles of third-party service providers are indicated.
  • Unclear whether this product supports social or federated login.
  • Contractual limits are not placed on third-party data use.
Data Security
SCORE: 20%

How does it secure data?

  • Unclear whether a user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
  • Account creation is required.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Unclear whether this product limits employee or physical access to user information.
  • Unclear whether this product encrypts all data in transit.
  • Unclear whether this product encrypts all data at rest.
  • Unclear whether this product provides notice in the event of a data breach.
Data Rights
SCORE: 85%

What rights do I have to the data?

  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access and review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify inaccurate data are 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 available.
  • Processes to download user data are available.
Data Sold
SCORE: 30%

Is the data sold?

  • Unclear whether data are 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.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying deidentified information.
Data Safety
SCORE: 60%

How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information is not shared for social interactions.
  • Personal information is displayed publicly.
  • Users can control how their data are displayed.
  • User-created content is not reviewed, screened, or monitored by the vendor.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
  • Social interactions between users are not moderated.
  • Unclear whether social interactions of users are logged.
  • Users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
SCORE: 55%

Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Behavioral or targeted 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.
  • Data profiles are 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.
  • Users can opt out of traditional, contextual, or behavioral advertising.
  • Users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Parental Consent
SCORE: 30%

Can I provide parental consent?

  • Not 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.
  • Unclear whether this product requires parental consent.
  • Unclear whether this product limits parental consent with respect to third parties.
  • Unclear whether this product allows parents to 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.
School Purpose
SCORE: 0%

Is the product intended for school?

  • Unclear whether intended for students.
  • Unclear whether personal information or education records are collected from preK-12 students.
  • Unclear whether intended for teachers.
  • Unclear whether this product is 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.

Common Sense Standard Privacy Report (SPR)

The standard privacy report (SPR) displays all the privacy practices from a product's policies in a single, easy-to-read outline. The report shows a green check mark for better privacy practices and an orange alert for risky or unclear practices. This alert indicates that more time should be focused on these particular details prior to use.

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 help educators make informed decisions about the potential privacy implications of educational technology used to support teaching and learning.

Our core evaluation criteria will always be freely available. People are encouraged to read the questions we use and our information security primer. 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.