Full privacy evaluation | See all
Thumbnail
Updated February 15, 2019

Nearpod

  • Privacy polices do indicate a version or effective date.
  • Data are not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Data are shared for advertising or marketing.
  • Behavioral or contextual advertising is not displayed.
  • Data are not collected by third-party advertising or tracking services.
  • Data are not used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Third parties cannot 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
58
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

Disclaimer: Common Sense Education content is included in Nearpod.

Nearpod is a web-based and iPad compatible platform that allows K-12 teachers to present interactive lessons, quizzes, and virtual reality-based activities to their students. The terms of Nearpod state Students do not need to create a Nearpod account or provide Nearpod with any personally identifiable information to access a Nearpod presentation--students just need the 5-digit PIN unique to their teacher's presentation. The terms of Nearpod state the Service can be used by students with or without an account. The terms of Nearpod state they require encryption on login, and in all areas of the website. Lastly, Nearpod's terms state they do not intentionally collect personally identifiable information from children under 13 years of age.

Nearpod 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 Terms of Use accessed for this evaluation can be found on Nearpod’s website, iOS App Store, and the Google Play Store. Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include: Privacy and Security FAQ. 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
arrow
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.
30

The terms of Nearpod state students do not need to create a Nearpod account or provide Nearpod with any personally identifiable information to access a Nearpod presentation--students just need the 5-digit PIN unique to their teacher's presentation. In addition, the terms state teacher accounts can allow teachers to share lessons, including assessments, with students. Because the site is structured around teacher-directed activities, risks of inappropriate interactions are minimized.

In addition, the terms state Nearpod may provide various open communication tools, such as blog comments, blog posts, chat forums, and message boards. Lastly, the terms state users should exercise caution, because Nearpod does not monitor user content and therefore users may be exposed to content from other users that is inaccurate, offensive, obscene, indecent, or objectionable.

PrivacyProtecting collected information
arrow
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.
59

The terms of Nearpod state the service can be used by students with or without an account. The terms state this method of use minimizes the potential for sharing personal information. However, the terms do not provide significant detail on any third party service providers used to run the site, or the role of these third parties. The service supports social or federated login with Google and Office 365, so users should be aware that using social login can provide access to additional personal information.

The terms state that as part of Nearpod's marketing program, users may participate in Facebook.com's Custom Audience program which enables Nearpod to display personalized ads to persons on Nearpod's email lists when they visit Facebook.com. However, the terms state Nearpod does not sell user personal information to third parties and will not advertise or market to students who use Nearpod, nor will any student information collected by Nearpod be shared with third parties for advertising or marketing purposes. Lastly, the terms state the service does not collect any kind of personally identifiable information through the use of cookie technology or IP numbers for tracking purposes.

SecurityProtecting against unauthorized access
arrow
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 terms of Nearpod state they require encryption on login, and in all areas of the website. However, the terms do not provide significant detail on security provisions in place, but given the level of student information stored in the site, and the various means provided by the site to minimize data collection, the general measures described seem appropriate. Schools and districts are encouraged to explore the ways to minimize sharing of personal information in this site, and to ask the vendor for more details about physical and procedural safeguards in place to protect student data. Lastly, in the event of a security breach, the terms state Nearpd will notify users by posting on Nearpod and notifying users by email.

ComplianceFollowing statutory laws and regulations
arrow
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.
43

Nearpod's terms state they do not intentionally collect personally identifiable information from children under 13 years of age. However, the terms do not discuss obtaining parental consent, although they do encourage users under 13 who want to use the service to review the terms with their parents. The terms disclose that if a parent or teacher believes that their child or student has provided Nearpod with personally identifiable information, they should notify Nearpod so that they may immediately delete the information.

Additionally, educators should be aware that, based on how they use some of the features created in the site, some activities could be defined as educational records under FERPA. Teachers should also be aware when using this tool (and any other tool that creates surveys) that certain categories of questions could be covered by the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).

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.