Branchingminds

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Show Overview
Audience
Students, Teachers, Other (Staff etc.)
Good To Know
Used with Under 13, Vendor requires parental consent managed by School, Vendor self-defines as School Official
Privacy Policy
Policy length: 4,109 words
No. of policies: 2
Time to read: 33 minutes

App Overview

Branching Minds is a paid service that supports timely and personalized learning interventions for students. Branching Minds collects a broad range of potentially sensitive information about students, and can be used to track contacts with families about a child's learning. The terms of Branching Minds clearly define the data they collect, and how they handle it. The terms of Branching Minds state that data are encrypted both in transit and at rest. The terms also specify that Branching Minds conducts regular security audits and code reviews, and that their "software developers are aware of secure programming practices." The terms of Branching Minds state that Branching Minds is authorized by schools to act as a school official under FERPA. The terms also specify that Branching Minds is used exclusively for an educational purpose, so that schools or districts can provide consent as permitted under COPPA.

Branching Minds can be accessed through its website. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use used for this evaluation can also be found on Branching Mind’s website. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Safety
What's This?
Evaluating safety takes into consideration best practices that protect a user's physical and emotional health.

Branching Mind's terms state they collect a broad range of potentially sensitive information about students, and the data can be used to track contacts with families about a child's learning. The terms do not contain details about who can see this information within the service, or how access within the service is limited.

Privacy
What's This?
Evaluating privacy takes into consideration best practices that protect the disclosure of a user's personal information.

The terms of Branching Minds clearly define the data they collect, and how they handle it. Branching Minds manages learning interventions between students, so the system may contain sensitive information. The terms specify that third party advertisers are not permitted to collect data from the site. The terms also specify that data collected within the platform is primarily used for delivering the service, with a small amount of de-identified data used to improve the service. In addition, the terms state that personal information shared with the service will be destroyed when the relationship with the school is terminated, or when it is no longer needed, and the terms define their data destruction process.

Lastly, the terms specify that users will receive notice either via email or by a message placed on the site, but the terms of service state that the terms can be modified "at any time without notice."

Security
What's This?
Evaluating security takes into consideration best practices that protect the integrity and confidentiality of a user's data.

The terms of Branching Minds state data are encrypted both in transit and at rest. The terms also specify that Branching Minds conducts regular security audits and code reviews, and that their "software developers are aware of secure programming practices." The terms also describe physical and procedural safeguards used to protect the locations where data are housed, including intrusion detection systems and multiple forms of identity verification required to access the server facilities. The terms also specify that access to personal information is limited only to Branching Minds employees who need that data to do their job.

Compliance
What's This?
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.

The terms of Branching Minds state the Service is authorized by schools to act as a school official under FERPA. The terms also specify that Branching Minds is used exclusively for an educational purpose, so that schools or districts can provide consent as permitted under COPPA. The terms also specify that parents can review educational data collected by Branching Minds by contacting Branching Minds. The terms specify that a "teacher or school district official provides consent for a child under the age of 13 to use Branching Minds when they create a Branching Minds account for that child."

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. The bars in the evaluations are not a measure of absolute safety or risk rather, they suggest areas to be considered and examined as part of using the application.

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.

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Privacy Policy