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Privacy Evaluation for Remind

Last updated January 17, 2020

Overview

Remind is a messaging platform that helps educators, students, parents and other users send messages. The terms of Remind state it is used for communicating between students and teachers within a classroom, so there is some potential for the application to share sensitive information. Remind's terms state they collect personal information and non-personal usage information automatically through use of the service. In addition, Remind's terms state their approach to security takes advantage of advanced cloud computing practices while maintaining strict policies to ensure the security and integrity of the data they manage. Lastly, Remind's terms state they only collect limited information from children and students under 13 such as their first name and last initial.

Remind 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 Remind’s website, iOS App Store, and the Google Play Store. Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include: Trust and Safety, Community Guidelines, Bullying Prevention Policy, School Agreement, and District Agreement. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Safety

The terms of Remind state it is used for communicating between students and teachers within a classroom, so there is some potential for the application to share sensitive information. Additionally, access codes that provide access to the application need to be tightly controlled, and the class or group manager should verify the identities of the people in their groups - for example, sharing access codes on social media increases the risk of unauthorized people joining a class or group. However, the terms state the flow of communication is tightly structured, and individual interactions can be reviewed easily by teachers, parents, and the school. If group access is tightly controlled, actual risk of unauthorized access is minimal.

Privacy

The terms of Remind state they collect personal information and non-personal usage information automatically through use of the Service. Remind's terms specify that Personally Identifiable Information may be shared with third parties embedded and integrated within Remind, and that the use of that data is governed by third party terms. Users have a choice about whether or not they use these services, and it is possible to use Remind without enabling any of these external integrations (ie, a SIS integration with a District plan). In addition, Remind's terms state that they will not sell personal information or serve behaviorally targeted ads.

Security

The terms of Remind state their approach to security takes advantage of advanced cloud computing practices while maintaining strict policies to ensure the security and integrity of the data they manage. Remind's terms state they are committed to working with administrators, third-party auditors, penetration testing firms, and policy advisors to continually strengthen their investments across all aspects of their security.

Remind's terms state their employees are required to enable two-factor authentication in every internal and external service where two-factor authentication is made available and practical. In addition, Remind's accounts use single sign-on (SSO) and two-factor authentication (2FA). Remind uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other third-party services within the AWS environment to host and operate its databases. AWS is an industry-leading cloud service platform that provides Remind with nondescript facilities, professional security staff, controlled access, video surveillance, intrusion detection, and other security features. The terms state all data is separated from outside connections, and access is limited to select, current members of the Remind team. Lastly, Remind's terms state they have protections in place to enhance their users’ security, and routinely update these protections. The terms state they have administrative, technical, and physical safeguards designed to protect against unauthorized use, disclosure of or access to personal information. If Remind becomes aware of a data breach of its users’ personally identifiable information, Remind's terms state they will notify affected users.

Compliance

The terms of Remind state they only collect limited information from children and students under 13, such as their first name and last initial. In addition, Remind's terms state they only collect personal information through the services from children under 13 where that student’s school, district and/or teacher has agreed after receiving parental consent. If Remind does not receive the parent’s email address within a reasonable time period after registration, the under 13 user will not be able to receive any messages and their Personal Information will be deleted. The terms also specify that a school, district, or teacher, must represent and warrant that they are solely responsible for complying with COPPA. Additionally, teachers signing up for the service should be aware that their use of Remind appears to require their school or district to obtain parental consent.

Data Collection
SCORE: 60%

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.
  • Biometric or health data are not collected.
  • Unclear whether this product collects behavioral data.
  • Unclear whether this product collects sensitive data.
  • Non-personally identifiable information is collected.
  • Combined information is treated as personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Personal information from children under 13 years of age is collected online.
Data Sharing
SCORE: 85%

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.
  • Unclear whether 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: 95%

How does it secure data?

  • A user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
  • Account creation is required.
  • Parental controls or managed accounts are available.
  • Two-factor account protection is available.
  • 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.
  • All data at rest are encrypted.
  • Notice is provided in the event of a data breach.
Data Rights
SCORE: 95%

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.
  • 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.
  • Processes to download user data are available.
Data Sold
SCORE: 60%

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.
  • User information can be deleted prior to its transfer to a third party.
  • Third-party transfer is not 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.
  • Unclear whether data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Unclear whether contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying deidentified information.
Data Safety
SCORE: 90%

How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
  • Users cannot interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information is shared for social interactions.
  • Personal information is not displayed publicly.
  • Users can control how their data are displayed.
  • User-created content is not reviewed, screened, or monitored by the vendor.
  • User-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
  • Social interactions between users are moderated.
  • Social interactions of users are logged.
  • Users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
SCORE: 70%

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 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.
  • Data profiles are not created and used for data enhancement, and/or targeted advertisements.
  • The vendor can send marketing messages.
  • Unclear whether this vendor provides promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
  • Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to opt-out of traditional, contextual, or behavioral advertising.
  • Users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Parental Consent
SCORE: 90%

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 indicated.
  • Parental consent is required.
  • Unclear whether this product limits parental consent with respect to third parties.
  • Parents can withdraw consent for the further collection of their child's information.
  • Children's personal information is deleted if collected without parental consent.
  • Parental consent notice and method for submission are provided.
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.