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Privacy Evaluation for CodeHS

Last updated January 9, 2020

Overview

CodeHS has everything you need to teach computer science at your school, including web-based curriculum, teacher tools, administrator insights, and more. The terms state that both safe and public interactions are possible on the site and that the vendor doesn't review material/messages before they are posted. The terms state that the collection of personal information is limited to what is required. In addition, the terms state that no personal information is rented or sold, and no advertising or third-party marketing is used on the site. However, the terms are unclear about third-party tracking for advertising or marketing purposes. The terms also state that reasonable security is used, but the terms are unclear if managed accounts are available, or what content can be accessed without an account. The terms state that intended users include children, students, and teachers/parents. Lastly, the terms state that schools are responsible for obtaining verifiable parental consent for children under 13.

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

Safety

The terms state that safe interactions are possible between students, teachers, and tutors, but there are also public forums where anything posted can be viewed by others. The terms state that the vendor does not monitor content or review material or messages before they are posted.

Privacy

The terms state that the collection of personal information is limited to what is necessary for the service and that data is only shared in the event of ownership transition, to comply with legal issues, to enforce their terms or ensure security, for billing and collection, and to protect their rights and the rights of others. The terms do state that they share aggregated nonidentifiable information with others without restriction. The terms state that no data is rented or sold, and advertising is not used on the site.

Security

The terms state that reasonable security is used and that they will comply with any legal notification requirements for security breaches. The terms are unclear about whether an account is required for all of the service's functionality. Teachers and parents can create accounts on behalf of their students/children, but it is not clear whether these are managed accounts.

Compliance

The terms state that intended users include children, teens, students, teachers, and parents, and that parental consent is required for those under 18, but it is up to the schools to obtain verfiable parental consent for those under 13. Users can access, modify, or delete their data at any time.

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 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 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.
  • Use of information is limited to the purpose for which it was collected.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Unclear whether contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
Data Security
SCORE: 35%

How does it secure data?

  • A user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
  • Unclear whether this product requires account creation.
  • 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.
  • Employee or physical access to user information is limited.
  • All data in transit are encrypted.
  • 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: 60%

What rights do I have to the data?

  • Unclear whether opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
  • Unclear whether 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 not available.
  • Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to download their data.
Data Sold
SCORE: 50%

Is the data sold?

  • Data are 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.
  • User information can be transferred to a third party.
  • 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.
  • Third-party transfer is contractually required to use the same privacy practices.
  • User information is not 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.
Data Safety
SCORE: 35%

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.
  • Unclear whether profile information is shared for social interactions.
  • Personal information is displayed publicly.
  • Unclear whether this product allows users to control how their data are displayed.
  • User-created content is not reviewed, screened, or monitored by the vendor.
  • User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
  • Social interactions between users are not moderated.
  • Unclear whether social interactions of users are logged.
  • Unclear whether users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
SCORE: 40%

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 collected by third-party advertising or tracking services.
  • Unclear whether this product uses data to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Unclear whether this product creates and uses data profiles for data enhancement, and/or targeted advertisements.
  • Unclear whether this vendor can send marketing messages.
  • The vendor does provide 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.
Parental Consent
SCORE: 70%

Can I provide parental consent?

  • Intended for children under 13.
  • Intended for parents or guardians.
  • Vendor does have actual knowledge that personal information from users under 13 years of age is collected.
  • Children's privacy is applicable.
  • COPPA parental consent exceptions are not indicated.
  • Parental consent is required.
  • 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.
  • Children's personal information is deleted if collected without parental consent.
  • Unclear whether this product provides parental consent notice and method for submission.
School Purpose
SCORE: 70%

Is the product intended for school?

  • Intended for students.
  • Personal information or education records are collected from preK-12 students.
  • Intended for teachers.
  • Product is primarily used by, designed for, and marketed toward students in grades preK–12.
  • Product does create education records.
  • Notification of a contract or additional rights is provided.
  • Vendor is designated as a school official.
  • Parental consent obligations are transferred 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.