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Privacy Evaluation for Reddit

Last updated September 7, 2022

Overview

Reddit is a popular platform that enables users to post, ask questions, and discuss anything. The terms provide that information posted by users is generally publicly accessible by anyone, even those without a Reddit account. The Privacy Policy clearly discloses the categories of personal information collected, including email addresses, IP addresses, and cookie information. While the Privacy Policy states that Reddit shares personal information with third parties, it does not state what information is shared. The terms clearly state that personalized advertisements are displayed to Reddit’s users. The Privacy Policy fails to address whether third parties are required to provide the same level of security protections as Reddit when processing and storing users’ personal information. The terms state that no one under the age of 13 is allowed to use Reddit’s services.

Reddit can be accessed through its website, and is available for download at the iOS App Store, and the Google Play Store. The Privacy Policy and User Agreement used for this evaluation can be found on Reddit’s website, iOS App Store, and the Google Play Store. Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include: Content Policy. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Safety

The terms provide that “much of the information on the Services is public and accessible to everyone, even without an account. By using the Services, you are directing us to share this information publicly and freely.” While, the terms further state that Reddit has no obligation to screen, edit, or monitor user content, the User Agreements allows “Moderators” to voluntarily monitor user posts of specific groups. Likewise, Reddit provides the Moderator Guidelines for Healthy Communities as a recommended list of objectives to follow as a Moderator. The terms do not clearly state whether users can control how their personal information is displayed to others.

Privacy

The Privacy Policy discloses that Reddit collects personal information including names, email addresses, IP addresses, and location. Furthermore, the Privacy Policy states that Reddit automatically collects usage and behavioral activity. The terms do not clearly indicate whether the company limits the collection to only information that is specifically required for Reddit’s Services. The Privacy Policy includes a clear section disclosing the personal information collected by third parties, including information collected by Embedded Third Party content, Advertisers and Potential Advertisers, and Linked services. The Privacy Policy fails to disclose what personal information is shared with third parties but states that Reddit does not sell personal information to third parties. The Privacy Policy clearly indicates Reddit’s purpose for sharing users’ personal information with third parties. The Privacy Policy discloses that third party cookies may use information collected from cookies to build a profile of users’ interests and deliver advertising to the user on other sites.

The Privacy Policy states that a user can manage and control certain choices with regard to third party advertising and analytics, and further discloses that the user can generally opt out of receiving personalized advertisements from certain third-party advertisers and ad networks.

Security

The Privacy Policy provides that Reddit implements reasonable security measures to protect users’ confidentiality. The Privacy Policy provides users a method for enabling two-factor authentication. The Privacy Policy fails to address whether Reddit encrypts all user data while in storage. The terms state that before Reddit processes a privacy rights request concerning a users’ personal information, that Reddit must verify the request with access to the users’ Reddit account or to a verified email address associated with the Reddit Account.

Compliance

The terms state that the users can create and upload content to Reddit. The Privacy Policy provides that users may designate an authorized agent to exercise privacy rights on behalf of the user. The Privacy Policy provides users with the privacy rights of: accessing and changing personal information, delete personal information, and delete the user’s account. The Privacy Policy does not address whether users can download or export their personal information. While the terms state that no one under the age of 13 may use Reddit’s services, the terms fail to provide whether Reddit knows it collects information from children under the age of 13, or whether Reddit deletes personal information from children under the age of 13 if collected without parental consent.

Data Collection
SCORE: 45%

What data does it collect?

  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected.
  • The categories of collected personally identifiable information are indicated.
  • Unclear whether the collection or use of data is limited to product requirements.
  • Geolocation data are collected.
  • Unclear whether this product collects biometric or health data.
  • Interactions, behaviors, or usage analytics data are collected.
  • Unclear whether this product collects sensitive data.
  • Data is automatically collected.
  • Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
  • Personal information of users is collected by a third party.
Data Sharing
SCORE: 80%

What data does it share?

  • Collected information is shared with third parties.
  • Unclear whether the categories of information shared with third parties are indicated.
  • The purpose for sharing a user's personal information with third parties is indicated.
  • The categories of third parties that receive data are indicated.
  • Data are shared for analytics.
  • Data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Third-party services are used to support the product.
  • The roles of third-party service providers are indicated.
  • Third-party login is supported.
  • Contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
Data Security
SCORE: 45%

How does it secure data?

  • A user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
  • Account creation is not required.
  • Unclear whether managed accounts are available.
  • Multi-factor account protection is available.
  • Unclear whether third-parties with access to information are required to provide the same security protections as the company.
  • Reasonable security practices are used to protect data.
  • Unclear whether this product limits employee or physical access to user information.
  • All data in transit are encrypted.
  • Unclear whether all data are stored in an encrypted format.
  • Unclear whether this product provides notice in the event of a data breach.
Data Rights
SCORE: 80%

What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.
  • A data-retention policy is available.
  • Processes for authorized users to delete data are available.
  • A user's data are not deleted upon account cancellation or termination.
  • Data are deleted when no longer necessary.
  • Methods are available to restrict who has access to data.
  • Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to download their data.
Data Sold
SCORE: 25%

Is the data sold?

  • Personal information is not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Unclear whether users can opt out from the disclosure or sale of their data to a third party.
  • Unclear whether user information can be transferred to a third party in the event of a merge, acquisition, or bankruptcy.
  • 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 that is shared is shared in an anonymous or de-identified format.
  • The company describes their de-identification process of user information.
  • Data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Unclear whether contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying or de-identified information.
Data Safety
SCORE: 35%

How safe is this product?

  • Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
  • Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Unclear whether profile information must be shared for social interactions.
  • Personal information can be displayed publicly.
  • Unclear whether this product allows users to control how their data are displayed to others.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is reviewed, screened, or monitored by the company.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
  • Social interactions between users are moderated.
  • Social interactions of users are logged.
  • Users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
SCORE: 55%

Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.
  • Data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • User's information is used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Data profiles are created and used for personalised advertisements.
  • The company can send marketing messages.
  • The company does provide promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
  • Users can opt out of contextual, or personalised advertising.
  • Users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Parental Consent
SCORE: 20%

Can I provide parental consent?

  • Not intended for children under 13.
  • Unclear whether this product collects personal information from children under 13 years of age.
  • Unclear whether intended for parents or guardians.
  • Unclear whether company has actual knowledge that personal information from users under 13 years of age is collected.
  • The company does provide a section, heading, or separate policy for children in their policies.
  • Unclear whether parental consent is required before personal information is collected or disclosed.
  • 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.
  • Processes to enter education records into the product are not described.
  • Unclear whether additional rights or protections may be provided with an additional school contract.
  • Unclear whether the company is designated as a school official.
  • Unclear whether this product transfers parental consent obligations to the school or district.
Individual Control
SCORE: 45%

Can I control the use of my data?

  • Users can control the use of their information through privacy settings.
  • Unclear whether use of information is limited to the purpose for which it was collected.
  • The context or purpose for which data are collected is indicated.
  • Company may combine data with additional data from third-party sources.
  • Unclear whether this product treats combined information as personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Unclear whether notice is provided if the context in which data are collected changes.
  • Unclear whether consent is obtained if the practices in which data are collected change.
  • A grievance or remedy mechanism is available for users to file a complaint.
  • Unclear whether users can request to know what personal information has been shared with third parties.
  • Notice is provided in the event the company receives a government or legal request for a user's 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.