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Privacy Evaluation for Quizlet

Last updated February 19, 2019

Overview

Quizlet is a website and app intended for helping users study any subject by providing users with flashcards and the ability to create flashcards. The terms of Quizlet state users can create quizzes and flashcard sets that can be viewed and completed by other people on the internet. Paid "Quizlet Plus" accounts allow images and voice recordings to be added to quizzes. The terms state that Quizlet does not sell personal information collected from children. However, the terms state Quizlet and third-party advertising partners may track and serve advertisements to users when they visit the service and may use information collected from users, or from devices associated with users to provide more relevant ads. Quizlet's terms specify that their website and apps use encryption, and that data in transit and at rest are protected by generally accepted industry standards.

Quizlet can be accessed through its website, and is available for download at the iOS App Store, and Google Play Store. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use accessed for this evaluation can be found on Quizlet’s website, iOS App Store, and Google Play Store. Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include: Honor Code, Community Guidelines, Cookie Policy, and Copyright Infringement. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Safety

The terms of Quizlet state users can create quizzes and flashcard sets that can be viewed and completed by other people on the Internet. Paid "Quizlet Plus" accounts allow images and voice recordings to be added to quizzes. The terms state users can also take quizzes and use flashcard sets that have been shared with them without creating an account. Parents and teachers should be aware information about users' activities they perform on Quizlet may be displayed publicly, for example, information included on a user's profile, classes they have joined, high scores they have achieved, or sets they have studied may be visible to others. Lastly, the terms state Quizlet gives users control over how their personal information is used, including what's made visible to the public, with the ability to control who can view and modify the content users have created on Quizlet and to remove information about previous study sessions.

Privacy

The terms specify that Quizlet collects names, usernames, passwords, and email addresses from users over the age of 13. For users under the age of 13, the service collects a username, password, and a parent email to obtain consent. The terms contain a complete list of third parties used to support the site. The list includes a brief description of each third party and a link to their privacy terms. The terms also include a list of cookies placed while using the service, with the purpose of each cookie.

The terms state that Quizlet does not sell personal information collected from children. However, the terms state Quizlet and third-party advertising partners may track and serve advertisements to users when they visit the service and may use information collected from users, or from devices associated with users to provide more relevant ads. The terms also specify that the site contains social media widgets that allow users to be tracked by these social media sites. The terms state that third party advertisers cannot use names, email addresses, or telephone numbers to serve ads. Lastly, the terms specify that Quizlet will upon request, provide additional information about how personal information is held or processed by Quizlet.

Security

Quizlet's terms specify that their website and apps use encryption, and that data in transit and at rest are protected by generally accepted industry standards. The terms also specify that Quizlet uses third party payment processors to manage payments, and that connections to these processors are also encrypted. Quizlet's terms state they also maintain a robust security program including third-party testing and a bug bounty program. Lastly, the terms state that Quizlet will promptly notify affected users in the event they learn of a data breach.

Compliance

The terms of Quizlet state the service can be used by people of all ages. For users under the age of 13, the terms specify that Quizlet requires parental consent, and only keep an email on file for the parent. In addition, the terms state parents and legal guardians of children under 13 can consent to collection and use of a child's personal information without consenting to the disclosure of that information to third parties. Quizlet's terms also state they offer teacher accounts, but anyone can get a teacher account, and the service is not designed specifically for educational K-12 use. The terms also state that parents can review information in the account of a child under the age of 13 by performing a password reset on their child's account or by contacting Quizlet. Within the application, users retain control over the content they have created and can access, modify, or delete personal information collected by Quizlet. Lastly, the terms state Quizlet is included in PRIVO’s Kids Privacy Assured COPPA Safe Harbor Certification Program.

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 not collected.
  • Unclear whether this product collects biometric or health data.
  • Behavioral data are collected.
  • Unclear whether this product collects sensitive data.
  • 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: 90%

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.
  • 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.
  • Social or federated login is supported.
  • Contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
Data Security
SCORE: 55%

How does it secure data?

  • A user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
  • Account creation is required.
  • Unclear whether parental controls or managed accounts are available.
  • Unclear whether two-factor account protection is available.
  • Third-party contractual security protections are required.
  • Industry best practices are used to protect data.
  • Unclear whether this product limits employee or physical access to user information.
  • All data in transit are encrypted.
  • Unclear whether this product encrypts all data at rest.
  • Notice is provided in the event of a data breach.
Data Rights
SCORE: 75%

What rights do I have to the data?

  • Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
  • Users can control their information through privacy settings.
  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Unclear whether 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Unclear whether third-party transfers are contractually required to use the same privacy practices.
  • User information is 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: 50%

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.
  • Profile information is shared for social interactions.
  • Personal information is displayed publicly.
  • Users can control how their data are displayed.
  • User-created content is not reviewed, screened, or monitored by the vendor.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
  • Unclear whether social interactions between users are moderated.
  • Unclear whether social interactions of users are logged.
  • Users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
SCORE: 65%

Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Behavioral or targeted advertising is displayed.
  • Data are collected by third-party advertising or tracking services.
  • Data are used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Data profiles are created and used for data enhancement, and/or targeted advertisements.
  • The vendor can send marketing messages.
  • The vendor does provide promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
  • Users can opt out of traditional, contextual, or behavioral advertising.
  • Users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Parental Consent
SCORE: 70%

Can I provide parental consent?

  • Intended for children under 13.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Unclear whether this product indicates COPPA parental consent exceptions.
  • Parental consent is required.
  • Parental consent is limited with respect to third parties.
  • Parents can withdraw consent for the further collection of their child's information.
  • Unclear whether this product deletes children's personal information if collected without parental consent.
  • Parental consent notice and method for submission are provided.
School Purpose
SCORE: 10%

Is the product intended for school?

  • Unclear whether intended for students.
  • Unclear whether personal information or education records are collected from preK-12 students.
  • Intended for teachers.
  • Unclear whether this product is primarily used by, designed for, and marketed toward students in grades preK–12.
  • Unclear whether the product creates education records.
  • Unclear whether this product provides notification of a contract or additional rights.
  • Unclear whether this product designates the vendor as a school official.
  • Unclear whether this product transfers parental consent obligations 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.