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Privacy Evaluation for Socrative

Last updated September 7, 2022

Overview

Socrative a tool for teachers to engage and assess students during class. The Privacy Policy fails to clearly state whether users may interact with any untrusted users and further states that Socrative does not monitor or screen any content uploaded by a user. The Privacy Policy states that Socrative collects first names, last names, user IDs, passwords, school names, location, and activity within the service. The terms fail to disclose what information is shared with third parties, however the Privacy Policy provides that users can unsubscribe from marketing notifications at any time. The terms state that Socrative uses appropriate security to protect the confidentiality of users’ personal information. The Terms of Use indicate that Socrative relies on the child user to obtain parental consent before using the service, rather than independently obtaining verifiable parental consent from the parent.

Socrative 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 used for this evaluation can be found on Socrative’s website, iOS App Store, and the Google Play Store. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Safety

The terms state that minor students should not upload or send any personal information about themselves or other students, other than what is requested when signing up. The terms further state that the vendor does not monitor or screen user content. The Privacy Policy fails to state whether Socrative takes reasonable measures to delete all personal information from a user’s posting before they are made publicly visible. The policies furthermore fail to disclose whether users are able to interact with untrusted users.

Privacy

The Privacy Policy discloses that Socrative collects personal information including first names, last names, user IDs, passwords, school names, location, and activity within the service. The terms provide that third party service providers have access to relevant personal information when the third-parties assist Socrative in internal business operations, account administration, billing, improvement services, and marketing. However, the terms do not state what specific information is shared with the third-parties, nor do the terms state that third-parties are contractually limited to the use and processing of users’ personal information. The Privacy Policy further states that Socrative will share users' personal information "as part of a project with other companies in the Showbie Group." The Privacy Policy fails to clearly state whether Socrative sells users' personal information to third parties.

The Privacy Policy discloses that Socrative collects personal information of administrative users or teachers for personalized advertising, although no advertising is directed to student users. The terms do state that users may unsubscribe from marketing notifications at any time. The Privacy Policy further discloses that Socrative uses cookies to track information about the users' activity, including Google Analytics. The Privacy Policy clearly states that Socrative does not support "Do Not Track" web browser preferences.

Security

The Privacy Policy indicates that Socrative implements appropriate security measures for ensuring the confidentiality of users’ personal information. However, the Privacy Policy fails to address whether Socrative encrypts personal information in storage or in transit. Furthermore, the Privacy Policy fails to state whether Socrative will notify users in the event of a breach. The terms fail to say whether third-parties with access to users' information are required to implement the same security measures as Socrative. The Privacy Policy does state that suitable proof of identification will be required before privacy rights requests can be processed.

Compliance

While the Privacy Policy includes a section governing a school's responsibility to obtain consent for Socrative to collect personal information from students, the Privacy Policy does not specifically provide a section or disclose if and when Socrative collects personal information from children users under the age of 13. Furthermore the Terms of Use indicate that Socrative relies on a child user to obtain parental consent before using the service. The Privacy Policy states that for a user to receive personal information about themselves, the user must first provide Socrative with suitable proof of identification.

Data Collection
SCORE: 40%

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.
  • Unclear whether this product collects biometric or health data.
  • Interactions, behaviors, or usage analytics data are collected.
  • Unclear whether this product collects sensitive data.
  • Data is automatically collected.
  • Unclear whether opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
  • Unclear whether personal information of users is collected by a third party.
Data Sharing
SCORE: 70%

What data does it share?

  • Collected information is shared with third parties.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • 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.
  • Unclear whether contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
Data Security
SCORE: 25%

How does it secure data?

  • A user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
  • Unclear whether this product requires account creation.
  • Managed accounts are available.
  • Unclear whether multi-factor account protection is available.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Unclear whether this product limits employee or physical access to user information.
  • Unclear whether this product encrypts all data in transit.
  • Unclear whether all data are stored in an encrypted format.
  • Unclear whether this product provides notice in the event of a data breach.
Data Rights
SCORE: 55%

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.
  • Unclear whether the product provides a data-retention policy.
  • Processes for authorized users to delete data are available.
  • Unclear whether a user's data are deleted upon account cancellation or termination.
  • Unclear whether this product deletes data when no longer necessary.
  • Unclear whether methods are available to restrict who has access to data.
  • Processes to download user data are available.
Data Sold
SCORE: 10%

Is the data sold?

  • Unclear whether personal information is sold or rented to third parties.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • 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: 20%

How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Unclear whether profile information must be shared for social interactions.
  • Unclear whether personal information can be displayed publicly.
  • Unclear whether this product allows users to control how their data are displayed to others.
  • User-created content is not reviewed, screened, or monitored by the company.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
  • Social interactions between users are not moderated.
  • Unclear whether social interactions of users are logged.
  • Unclear whether users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
SCORE: 40%

Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.
  • Data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • User's information is used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Data profiles are 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: 45%

Can I provide parental consent?

  • Intended for children under 13.
  • Unclear whether this product collects personal information from children under 13 years of age.
  • Intended for parents or guardians.
  • Unclear whether company has actual knowledge that personal information from users under 13 years of age is collected.
  • The company does not provide a section, heading, or separate policy for children in their policies.
  • Parental consent is not 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.
  • Unclear whether this product provides parental consent notice and method for submission.
School Purpose
SCORE: 63%

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 not described.
  • Additional rights or protections may be provided with an additional school contract.
  • Unclear whether the company is designated as a school official.
  • Parental consent obligations are transferred to the school or district.
Individual Control
SCORE: 45%

Can I control the use of my data?

  • Users can control the use of their information through privacy settings.
  • Use of information is not 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.
  • Unclear whether this product treats combined information as personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Unclear whether notice is provided if the context in which data are collected changes.
  • Unclear whether 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.