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Privacy Evaluation for Socrative

Last updated June 13, 2019

Overview

Socrative provides a classroom tool and resource that teachers can use as part of their classroom activities to identify levels of student understanding of instruction on a real-time basis. The terms state that users can interact with both trusted and untrusted users, and that personal profiles and teacher newsfeeds are set to be public by default. The terms state that personal information is collected about teachers and parents, with limited information collected about students, and personal information is shared with third parties only for the purposes of providing the vendor's services; there are no third-party ads, and users can upload user content. The terms state that teachers are required to create accounts to use the service, but students are not. The terms state that it is the responsibility of schools/teachers to obtain parental consent for the vendor to collect personal information from students. In addition, the terms describe methods for users to access, modify, or delete their data or their child's personal information.

Socrative can be accessed through its website, and Socrative Student applications are available for download at the iOS App Store, and the Google Play Store. Socrative Teacher applications are also 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 Socrative’s website. 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 users can interact with trusted users, such as relevant students, parents, and other teachers, and untrusted users, such as via forums where any information shared can be publicly viewable. Personal profile data and teacher newsfeeds are made public by default, though newsfeed privacy settings are configurable. The terms state that the vendor does not monitor user-submitted content. The terms do not state whether or not interactions are moderated.

Privacy

When there are material changes to the privacy policy, the terms state that users are notified by email before the change becomes effective. Personal information is collected from teachers and parents, such as email address, name, location, school, etc., along with optional information such as photograph and school address. Sometimes information is collected from students, such as name and assessment information. Usage data is also automatically collected from users. Information is shared with third parties, such as teacher data shared with other teachers, student data shared with teachers and parents, and personal data shared with third parties for the purposes of providing the vendor's service.

The terms are clear about the purposes and context of data sharing, and third parties must only use this data to provide the services to the vendor. Anonymous analytical data is also collected and may be shared with third parties to improve the service, but any non-personally identifying information that is mixed with personally identifiable information is treated as personally identifiable. The terms state that no personal data is shared with third parties for third party marketing, and no personal information is sold. The service allows users to connect their accounts with Facebook to retrieve a profile photo, and users can, in some cases, sign into their account using a Google ID or Clever ID, from whom the vendor receives some information. Users may upload content to their account, such as learning resources, curriculum maps, student scores, photos, videos, lessons, comments, and more. Users receive service-related messages from the vendor; teachers and parents may also receive marketing emails from the vendor, but they can opt out. Lastly, the terms state that the vendor does not host any third-party ads on their services, and they do not track users across third-party apps or sites.

Security

The terms state that teachers are required to create accounts to use the service, but that students are not. The vendor uses reasonable security measures, including encryption in transit, but more security specifics are not included in the terms. Online payment information is stored outside the control of the vendor, being processed and maintained by PayPal.

Compliance

The product is intended to be used by teachers, administrators, parents, and students, including those under 13 years of age. Teachers and parents are able to create accounts for children/students. It is the responsibility of schools and teachers to obtain parental consent for the vendor to collect student personal information. The terms state that the vendor collects educational information such as student assessments and evidence of learning. The terms state that limited information may be collected directly from children. If user submissions are removed for potential copyright infringement, users will be notified and there is a grievance procedure available. Users retain copyright to any submission they own, but the vendor claims a broad license to it. Parents and teachers can review, modify, or delete children's information, and users may edit or delete any non-required information through their profile page. The terms do not mention whether or how long the vendor keeps information after it has fulfilled its purpose or a user becomes inactive, or how long the vendor will take to respond to account or information deletion requests. The terms include a detailed COPPA privacy policy detailing how children's information is collected, used, and disclosed. The terms state that, unless users submit their written request by mail to opt-out from waving their right to a jury trial or a class action within 30 days of their original acceptance of the terms, that they will be waiving those rights.

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 not limited to product requirements.
  • Unclear whether this product collects geolocation data.
  • Unclear whether this product collects biometric or health data.
  • 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: 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: 30%

How does it secure data?

  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Unclear whether this product provides notice in the event of a data breach.
Data Rights
SCORE: 45%

What rights do I have to the data?

  • Unclear whether opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
  • Unclear whether 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.
  • Unclear whether the product provides a data-retention policy.
  • Processes for the school, parents, or students to delete data are available.
  • Unclear whether a user can delete all their data.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 not shared in an anonymous or deidentified format.
  • 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: 45%

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.
  • User-created content is not 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.
  • Unclear whether users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
SCORE: 80%

Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are not 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.
  • The vendor does provide 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: 60%

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.
  • Unclear whether this product indicates COPPA parental consent exceptions.
  • Parental consent is not 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.
  • Unclear whether this product deletes children's personal information if collected without parental consent.
  • Parental consent notice and method for submission are not provided.
School Purpose
SCORE: 50%

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.
  • Unclear whether this product provides notification of a contract or additional rights.
  • Unclear whether this product designates the vendor 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.