Privacy Evaluation for The Physics Classroom
The Physics Classroom is an online and free to use physics website developed primarily for beginning physics students and their teachers. The terms state the Physics Classroom will only use users' personal information to provide the service and respond to them regarding the reason they contacted the company. In addition, the terms state the Physics Classroom will not share users' personal information with any third party outside of their organization, and they do not market, sell, or otherwise distribute the email addresses and information that is provided. The terms also say the Physics Classroom will not sell or rent personal information to anyone, but the terms say the service may display targeted ads to users by default with the option to opt-out for contextual ads.
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.
- Biometric or health data are not collected.
- Interactions, behaviors, or usage analytics data are not collected.
- Sensitive data are collected.
- Unclear whether this product collects any data automatically.
- 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.
What data does it share?
- Unclear whether collected information is shared with third parties.
- Unclear whether the categories of information shared with third parties are indicated.
- Unclear whether the purpose for sharing a user's personal information with third parties is indicated.
- Unclear whether the categories of third parties that receive data are indicated.
- Data are not shared for analytics.
- Data are not 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.
- Unclear whether this product supports third-party login.
- Unclear whether contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
How does it secure data?
- Unclear whether a user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
- Account creation is not required.
- 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.
- 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.
What rights do I have to the data?
- Users cannot create or upload content.
- Unclear whether users retain ownership of their data.
- Unclear whether this product provides processes to access and review user data.
- Unclear whether this product provides processes to modify data for authorized users.
- A data-retention policy is available.
- Unclear whether authorzied users can delete data.
- A user's data are deleted upon account cancellation or termination.
- Data are deleted when no longer necessary.
- Unclear whether methods are available to restrict who has access to data.
- Processes to download user data are available.
Is the data sold?
- Personal information is 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.
- Unclear whether 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.
- 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 not shared for research and/or product improvement.
- Unclear whether contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying or de-identified information.
How safe is this product?
- Users cannot interact with trusted users.
- Users cannot 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.
- Users can control how their data are displayed to others.
- Unclear whether user-created content is reviewed, screened, or monitored by the company.
- 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.
- Unclear whether users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
- Personal information is not 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.
- Unclear whether this product uses a user's information to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
- Unclear whether this product creates and uses data profiles for personalised advertisements.
- Unclear whether this company can send marketing messages.
- Unclear whether this company provides promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
- Users can opt out of contextual, or personalised advertising.
- Unclear whether users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Can I provide parental consent?
- Unclear whether intended for children under 13.
- Personal information from children under 13 years of age is not collected.
- 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 provide a section, heading, or separate policy for children in their policies.
- Unclear whether 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.
- Unclear whether this product provides parental consent notice and method for submission.
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.
- Unclear whether additional rights or protections may be provided with an additional school contract.
- Unclear whether the company is designated as a school official.
- Unclear whether this product transfers parental consent obligations to the school or district.
Can I control the use of my data?
- Unclear whether 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.
- 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.
- Unclear whether 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.
- Unclear whether 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.