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Updated June 14, 2019

Istation

  • Privacy polices do indicate a version or effective date.
  • Data are not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Data are not shared for advertising or marketing.
  • Behavioral or contextual advertising is not displayed.
  • Unclear whether this product allows data collection 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 allows third parties to use data to create ad profiles, data enhancement, and/or targeted advertisements.
The criteria for "Use with Caution" are narrowly focused around data uses related to creating profiles that aren't related to any educational purpose, and using data to target ads. We include both first party (ie, the vendor that builds the service) and third party (any company given access by the vendor) data use. It's worth highlighting that using data to profile students violates multiple state laws, and in some cases also violates federal law.

A service can be designated "Use with Caution" for either a lack of transparency around data use -- which creates the potential for profiling and behavioral targeting -- or for clearly stating that they use data to target advertisements and/or create profiles. As with any application being considered for use within schools, school and/or district staff should review the privacy policies and terms of service to ensure that they meet the legal and practical requirements of their state laws and school policies.

As with the "Not Recommended" criteria, a "Use with Caution" designation is NOT a sign that a vendor is necessarily doing anything unethical or illegal. It is a sign that, based on publicly available policies,  we do not have adequate guarantees that data will not be used by first or third parties to create non-educational profiles or to target behavioral ads.
Use with Caution
Full evaluation
36
Overall Scoreinfo-bubble

This overall score represents how the service addressed all our evaluation questions. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive policies.

Overview

Istation is an e-learning platform that provides computer adaptive assessments and defines the different classifications of data collected by its service and the purpose for its collection. The policies do not clearly state if user created content and social interactions are monitored, logged, or moderated. The terms state personal information is collected and shared with third parties, but the policies do not indicate if a user can control their personal information through privacy settings. Also, the policies state that reasonable security measures are used including data encryption during transit and at rest. The polices state that Istation is intended to be used by students in K-12 and teachers. In addition, the policies indicate that personal information on students under 13 years of age is collected and parental consent is required to be obtained by the school or district.

Istation can be accessed through its website, and is available for download at the iOS App Store, Google Play Store, and the Amazon App Store. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use used for this evaluation can be found on Istation’s website, iOS App Store, Google Play Store, and the Amazon App Store. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Read the Common Sense standard privacy report (SPR)arrow
The standard privacy report (SPR) displays the most important privacy practices from a product’s polices in a single easy-to-read outline. The report displays an alert when a particular privacy practice is risky, unclear, or not evaluated. This alert indicates more time should be focused on these particular details prior to use.
SafetyPromoting responsible use
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Evaluating safety takes into consideration best practices that protect a user's physical and emotional health. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to safety.
5

The policies do not clearly state if user created content and social interactions are monitored, logged, or moderated. However, the terms do state that Istation may choose to implement filters or block content, but they are under no obligation to do so. The policies do not indicate if users can interact with either trusted or untrusted users. However, the policies do indicate that personal information is made public, but they do not indicate what information is displayed, how it is controlled, or whether it can be deleted before being publicly displayed. Lastly, there are no processes indicated in the policies for reporting abusive behavior on the service.

PrivacyProtecting collected information
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Evaluating privacy takes into consideration best practices that protect the disclosure of a user's personal information. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to privacy.
38

The terms state personal information is collected and shared with third parties, but the policies do not indicate if a user can control their personal information through privacy settings. In addition, the policies do not indicate if personal information collection is limited to only the specific product use. The policies state personal information is not sold to third parties, and behavioral ads are not displayed, but the terms do not disclose if traditional ads are used and the policies do not indicate whether Istation filters ads for age appropriateness. The terms state that third parties have access to user information and categories of information are listed, however no indication of the role of third parties is disclosed. In addition, the polices state that users will receive service, marketing, and admin related emails, but users can opt-out of promotional, advertising and marketing related communications.

SecurityProtecting against unauthorized access
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Evaluating security takes into consideration best practices that protect the integrity and confidentiality of a user's data. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to security.
59

The policies indicate that access to resources on the service requires a subscription and account. In addition, the policies state that third-party contractors are required to provide the same level of security and protection of personal information as Istation. Also, the policies state that reasonable security measures are used including data encryption during transit and at rest. However, the terms do not indicate whether notification is provided to users in the event of a data breach.

ComplianceFollowing statutory laws and regulations
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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. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to compliance.
28

The polices state that Istation is intended to be used by students in K-12 and teachers. In addition, the policies indicate that personal information on students under 13 years of age is collected and parental consent is required to be obtained by the school or district. The policies state that authorized users, such as schools and school districts, have access to individual personal information of users and that various levels of access exist (teacher, principal, school-district admin). Moreover, the policies state that any requests by parents to access, modify, or delete student personal information must be made through the school or school district and not Istation directly.

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 streamline making an informed decision about the potential privacy implications of educational technology used to support teaching and learning.

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.