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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 interactions, behaviors, or usage analytics data.
  • Unclear whether this product collects sensitive data.
  • Data is automatically collected.
  • Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
  • Personal information of users is collected by a third party.
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.
  • The categories of third parties that receive data are indicated.
  • Data are shared for analytics.
  • Unclear whether data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Third-party services are used to support the product.
  • The roles of third-party service providers are indicated.
  • Third-party 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.
  • Managed accounts are available.
  • Multi-factor account protection is available.
  • Third-parties with access to information are required to provide the same security protections as the company.
  • Reasonable security practices are used to protect data.
  • Employee or physical access to user information is limited.
  • All data in transit are encrypted.
  • All data are stored in an encrypted format.
  • Notice is provided in the event of a data breach.
Data Rights
SCORE: 95%

What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.
  • A data-retention policy is available.
  • Processes for authorized users to delete data are available.
  • A user's data are deleted upon account cancellation or termination.
  • Data are deleted when no longer necessary.
  • Methods are available to restrict who has access to data.
  • Processes to download user data are available.
Data Sold
SCORE: 60%

Is the data sold?

  • Personal information is 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 in the event of a merge, acquisition, or bankruptcy.
  • 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 that is shared is shared in an anonymous or de-identified format.
  • Unclear whether the company describes their de-identification process of user information.
  • Unclear whether data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Unclear whether contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying or de-identified information.
Data Safety
SCORE: 90%

How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Users cannot interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information must be shared for social interactions.
  • Personal information can be not displayed publicly.
  • Users can control how their data are displayed to others.
  • User-created content is not reviewed, screened, or monitored by the company.
  • 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?

  • Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is not displayed.
  • Data are not collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • Users's information is not used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Data profiles are not created and used for personalised advertisements.
  • The company can send marketing messages.
  • Unclear whether this company provides promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
  • Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to opt-out of contextual, or personalised advertising.
  • Users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Parental Consent
SCORE: 85%

Can I provide parental consent?

  • Intended for children under 13.
  • Personal information from children under 13 years of age is collected.
  • Intended for parents or guardians.
  • Company does have actual knowledge that personal information from users under 13 years of age is collected.
  • The company does provide a section, heading, or separate policy for children in their policies.
  • Parental consent is required before personal information is collected or disclosed.
  • 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: 88%

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.
  • Processes to enter education records into the product are described.
  • Additional rights or protections may be provided with an additional school contract.
  • Company is designated as a school official.
  • Parental consent obligations are transferred to the school or district.
Individual Control
SCORE: 80%

Can I control the use of my data?

  • Users can control the use of their information through privacy settings.
  • Use of information is limited to the purpose for which it was collected.
  • The context or purpose for which data are collected is indicated.
  • Unclear whether company may combine data with additional data from third-party sources.
  • Combined information is treated as personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Notice is provided if the context in which data are collected changes.
  • Consent is obtained if the practices in which data are collected change.
  • A grievance or remedy mechanism is available for users to file a complaint.
  • Unclear whether users can request to know what personal information has been shared with third parties.
  • Notice is provided in the event the company receives a government or legal request for a user's 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.