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Updated April 19, 2018

Nitro Type

  • Privacy policies do not indicate a version or effective date.
  • Unclear whether data are sold or rented to third parties.
  • Data are shared for advertising or marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays behavioral or contextual advertising.
  • 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
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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

Nitro Type is a web-based game service that provides students with the opportunity to improve their typing skills while competing in races with people from around the world. The terms of Nitro Type state that any individual can create an account with the Service, and an email address is not required. However, Nitro Type displays advertisements to all users (even those under 13 years of age) and the only way to remove advertisements is to upgrade a user's account to a paid, Gold Membership account. It is not clear if the upgraded account also removes the advertisement tracking present in the website. While users are not required to enter an age or an email during signup, a birth year, an email address, and a full name can be added to a free account after a user has joined the site.

Nitro Type can be accessed through its website. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use accessed for this evaluation can be found on Nitro Type’s website. 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.
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The terms of Nitro Type state that any individual can create an account with the Service, and an email address is not required. Friend requests are allowed within the website, and the default setting (configurable via a user's profile) is to allow friend requests.

The terms state there are no interactions with adults or other students (of the same classroom or school). In addition, Nitro Type's terms state they do not routinely monitor a user's account, or disclose information about a user's communications to anyone. Lastly, the terms do not provide significant details about the tools and processes that support safe and appropriate social interactions. However, within the application a user can report other users for abusive behavior.

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.
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The terms of Nitro Type state they engage in data minimization practices but do not disclose what third-party services are used to support the operation of the website or application. However, Nitro Type displays advertisements to all users, including those under 13 years of age, but this practice is not disclosed in their policies. In addition, it is not clear whether the content of advertisements is filtered or reviewed to eliminate age inappropriate content. Also, it is not clear from the terms what information, if any, is shared with third-parties. The website also makes extensive use of third party ad trackers.

The terms state Nitro Type supports social login, and it is not clear what data are collected from social or federated login providers (Google, Clever, and Facebook), because the providers use personal information in accordance with their own terms of service and privacy policies. In addition, Nitro Type terms state they use customer contact information from the registration form (email, zip code, age, or occupation) to send a user information about Nitro Type and, if the user chooses, promotional material from some of their partners. Lastly, the service offers an upgrade to a "Gold" account which removes the display of advertisements, but it is not clear if this upgrade also removes the numerous third party trackers used as well.

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.
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The terms of Nitro Type state it has security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under its control. The terms specify passwords are never stored as clear text at any point, but rather are hashed thousands of times using unique randomized salts and the best available, reasonable encryption. In addition, the terms of Nitro Type state they request users to contact them in the event of a security breach, however, no other security measures are described in the policies.

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.
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The terms of Nitro Type state the Service appeals to users under 13 years of age, but users are not required to enter their birth year or date in order to register or maintain an account. However, a birth year can be added to a user profile after registration, and users under 13 years of age can continue to use the Service without parental consent.

It is not clear from the terms whether Nitro Type can use student data collected from the website or application to target advertisements to the user on other websites, or on other applications or services. However, Nitro Type displays advertisements to all users (even those under 13 years of age) and the only way to remove advertisements is to upgrade a user's account to a paid, Gold Membership account. Lastly, the terms do not disclose how Nitro Type obtains verifiable parental consent, or any of its compliance obligations under COPPA.

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.