Overview

Schoology is a learning management system that allows parents, teachers, students, and school officials to track coursework. Schoology's terms state they offer some flexibility in how users can control who sees what content, but the configuration options should be reviewed by a school administrator to ensure that visibility settings align with community norms and expectations. Schoology is an LMS which collects a significant amount of information about students and their work product. Schoology's terms state that the company takes reasonable security precautions but does not provide details about whether data is encrypted while in transit or at rest. Lastly, Schoology's terms state they require schools to obtain parental consent under COPPA, but do not define themselves as a school official under FERPA.

Schoology 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 Schoology’s website, the 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 of Schoology state they offer some flexibility in how users can control who sees what content, but the configuration options should be reviewed by a school administrator to ensure that visibility settings align with community norms and expectations. However, the terms do not define specific methods of flagging inappropriate content, or of auditing content. Lastly, Schoology's terms state that students of any age cannot share their profiles publicly outside of their classroom or school.

Privacy

Schoology is an LMS which collects a significant amount of information about students and their work product. Schoology's terms state they do not share information outside of the school or with any third parties except for contracted vendors and partners who provide services including marketing, analytics, and product improvement. Additionally, policies state that third party vendors and partners are contractually required to adhere to Schoology’s privacy and security policies.

The terms specify that the vendor may also share de-identified and/or aggregated data with third parties. In addition, Schoology's terms state they may use tracking technologies from third party service providers to display personalized advertising on Schoology products or other sites. Terms also state that users who opt out of personalized advertisements will be served contextual advertisements. Finally, Schoology’s terms specify the exception that student information is not used by the company or third parties to target advertisements to students.

Security

Schoology's terms state that the company takes reasonable security precautions but does not provide details about whether data is encrypted while in transit or at rest. Additionally, the terms do not contain information about a breach notification policy.

Compliance

Schoology's terms state they require schools to obtain parental consent under COPPA, but do not define themselves as a school official under FERPA. Schoology’s terms state the company does not guarantee all users the right to access, review, correct, or delete their data. Instead, policies state that schools, school districts, and higher education institutions own and control individual users’ data on Schoology and such requests must be directed through the relevant institutional administrator. Terms also specify that the parents of Schoology users have the right to access, correct, delete their child’s information, which they are directed to do by contacting their school administrator, emailing Schoology, or using the service’s member information page.

In addition, the terms state parents have the right to consent to Schoology's use of their child's personal information without having to also consent to disclosure of that information to third parties by contacting the school administrator.

Overall Score

Every privacy rating includes an overall score. A higher score (up to 100%) means the product provides more transparent privacy policies with better practices to protect user data. The score is best used is as an indicator of how much additional work a person will need to do to make an informed decision about a product.

Basic ScoreFull Score
Comprehensive Assessment5351

Concerns

The privacy evaluation process summarizes the policies of an application or service into concern categories based on a subset of evaluation questions that can be used to quickly identify particular practices of a vendor’s policies. These concerns are composed of evaluation questions that can be used to calculate scores relative to that concern.

ConcernBasic ScoreFull Score
Data Collection: Protecting personal information6755
Data Sharing: Protecting data from third parties10070
Data Security: Protecting against unauthorized access040
Data Rights: Controlling rights to data5055
Data Sold: Preventing sale of data2540
Data Safety: Promoting responsible use6755
Ads & Tracking: Prohibiting the exploitation of users' decision making process4350
Parental Consent: Protecting children’s personal information5055
School Purpose: Following student data privacy laws10063
Individual Control: Controlling data useNA30

Statutes

Each statute or regulation is associated with one or more evaluation questions. As such, we can calculate scores for each statute or regulation using only those questions associated with the statute or regulation. Each specific statute or regulation's score serves as an indirect proxy indicating the likelihood of the application or service satisfying all of its compliance obligations.

StatuteBasic ScoreFull Score
California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA)6362
Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)5557
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)7564
Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA)5457
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)4760

Privacy Policy Details

1: Transparency

1.1: Policy Version
  • Privacy policies do indicate a version or effective date.
  • Privacy policies do not indicate a change log or past policy version is available.
1.2: Policy Notice
  • Users are notified if there are any material changes to the policies.
  • Privacy policies indicate the method used to notify a user when policies are updated.
1.3: Policy Changes
  • Unclear whether users are notified prior to any material changes to the policies.
  • Unclear whether changes to the policies are effective immediately and continued use of the product indicates consent.
1.4: Policy Coverage
  • Privacy policies indicate the products that are covered by the policies.
1.5: Privacy Contact
  • Users can contact the company about any privacy policy questions, complaints, or material changes to the policies.
1.6: Policy Principles
  • Privacy policies do indicate privacy principles, layered notices, or a table of contents.
1.7: Policy Language
  • Privacy policies are not available in multiple languages.
1.8: Intended Use
  • Unclear whether intended for children under 13.
  • Intended for teens.
  • Intended for adults over 18.
  • Intended for parents or guardians.
  • Intended for students.
  • Intended for teachers.

2: Focused Collection

2.1: Data Collection
  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected.
  • The categories of collected personally identifiable information are indicated.
  • Geolocation data are collected.
  • Biometric or health data are collected.
  • Interactions, behaviors, or usage analytics data are collected.
  • Sensitive data are collected.
  • Data is automatically collected.
2.2: Data Source
  • Personal information or education records are collected from preK-12 students.
  • Unclear whether this product collects personal information from children under 13 years of age.
2.3: Data Excluded
  • Unclear whether specific types of personal information excluded from collection.
  • Unclear whether specific types of collected information are excluded from the privacy policy.
2.4: Data Limitation
  • Collection or use of data is not limited to product requirements.

3: Data Sharing

3.1: Data Shared With Third Parties
  • Collected information is shared with third parties.
  • Unclear whether the categories of information shared with third parties are indicated.
3.2: Data Use by Third Parties
  • The purpose for sharing a user's personal information with third parties is indicated.
  • Data are shared for analytics.
  • Data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
3.3: Data Not Shared With Third Parties
  • Specific categories of information are not shared with third parties.
3.4: Data Sold to Third Parties
  • Unclear whether personal information is sold or rented to third parties.
3.5: Third-Party Data Acquisition
  • Personal information about users is obtained from third parties.
3.6: Third-Party Links
  • Links to third-party external websites are not age-appropriate.
3.7: Third-Party Data Access
  • Third parties are authorized to access a user's information.
3.8: Third-Party Data Collection
  • Personal information of users is collected by a third party.
3.9: Third-Party Data Misuse
  • Unclear whether personal information can be deleted from a third party.
3.10: Third-Party Service Providers
  • Third-party services are used to support the product.
  • The roles of third-party service providers are indicated.
3.11: Third-Party Affiliates
  • The categories of third parties that receive data are indicated.
3.12: Third-Party Policies
  • Links to privacy policies of third-party companies are available.
3.13: Third-Party Data Combination
  • Company may combine data with additional data from third-party sources.
  • Unclear whether data shared with third parties can be combined with other data.
3.14: Third-Party Authentication
  • Unclear whether this product supports third-party login.
  • Unclear whether personal information from third-party login providers is collected.
  • Unclear whether personal Information is shared with third-party login providers.
3.15: De-identified or Anonymized Data
  • User information that is shared is not shared in an anonymous or de-identified format.
  • Unclear whether the company describes their de-identification process of user information.
3.16: Third-Party Contractual Obligations
  • Contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
  • Unclear whether contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying or de-identified information.

4: Respect for Context

4.1: Data Use
  • 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.
4.2: Data Combination
  • Unclear whether this product treats combined information as personally identifiable information (PII).
4.3: Data Notice
  • Unclear whether notice is provided if the context in which data are collected changes.
4.4: Data Changes
  • Unclear whether consent is obtained if the practices in which data are collected change.
4.5: Policy Enforcement
  • Unclear whether accounts may be terminated if users engage in any prohibited activities.

5: Individual Control

5.1: User Content
  • Users can create or upload content.
5.2: User Consent
  • Opt-in consent is not requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
5.3: Remedy Process
  • Unclear whether a grievance or remedy mechanism is available for users to file a complaint.
5.4: Data Settings
  • Unclear whether users can control the use of their information through privacy settings.
5.5: Data Disclosure
  • Unclear whether users can opt out from the disclosure or sale of their data to a third party.
  • 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.
5.6: Intellectual Property
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • A copyright license is claimed to data or content collected from a user.
  • Unclear whether any copyright license to a user's data is limited in scope or duration.

6: Access and Accuracy

6.1: Data Access
  • Processes to access or review user data are not available.
  • Methods are available to restrict who has access to data.
  • Processes to review student data are not available for the school, parents, or students.
6.2: Data Integrity
  • The company attempts to maintain the accuracy of data they collect.
6.3: Data Correction
  • Processes to modify data are not available for authorized users.
  • Processes for the school, parents, or students to modify inaccurate student information are available.
  • Unclear whether the time period for the company to modify inaccurate data is indicated.
6.4: Data Retention
  • A data-retention policy is available.
  • Exceptions to the data retention policy exist.
6.5: Data Deletion
  • Data are not deleted when no longer necessary.
  • Unclear whether a user's data are deleted upon account cancellation or termination.
  • Processes to delete user data are not available.
  • Processes for authorized users to to delete data are not available.
  • Unclear whether the time period for the company to delete data is indicated.
6.6: Data Portability
  • Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to download their data.
  • Unclear whether a user can assign an authorized account manager or legacy contact.

7: Data Transfer

7.1: Data Handling
  • User information can be transferred to a third party in the event of a merge, acquisition, or bankruptcy.
  • Notice is provided to users if the company assigns its rights or delegates its duties to another company.
  • Users are notified if their information is transferred to a third party.
7.2: Transfer Request
  • User information can not be deleted prior to its transfer to a third party.
7.3: Onward Contractual Obligations
  • Third-party transfer is not contractually required to use the same privacy practices.

8: Security

8.1: User Identity
  • Unclear whether a user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
8.2: User Account
  • Unclear whether this product requires account creation.
  • Managed accounts are available.
  • Unclear whether multi-factor account protection is available.
8.3: Third-Party Security
  • Third-parties with access to information are required to provide the same security protections as the company.
8.4: Data Confidentiality
  • Reasonable security practices are used to protect data.
  • Employee or physical access to user information is limited.
8.5: Data Transmission
  • Unclear whether this product encrypts all data in transit.
8.6: Data Storage
  • Unclear whether all data are stored in an encrypted format.
  • The company is clear what jurisdiction a user's personal information is subject to.
8.7: Data Breach
  • Unclear whether this product provides notice in the event of a data breach.
8.8: Data Oversight
  • Data-privacy and/or security-compliance audits are performed.

9: Responsible Use

9.1: Social Interactions
  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Unclear whether profile information must be shared for social interactions.
9.2: Data Visibility
  • Personal information can be displayed publicly.
  • Users can control how their data are displayed to others.
9.3: Monitor and Review
  • User-created content is reviewed, screened, or monitored by the company.
  • User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
  • Social interactions between users are moderated.
  • Unclear whether social interactions of users are logged.
9.4: Report Content
  • Unclear whether users can filter or block inappropriate content.
  • Unclear whether users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
9.5: Internet Safety
  • Unclear whether the company provides links to resources that support safe and appropriate social interactions.

10: Advertising

10.1: Vendor Communications
  • A user can receive service- or administrative-related communications from the company.
10.2: Traditional Advertising
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
10.3: Behavioral Advertising
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.
10.4: Ad Tracking
  • 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.
  • Unclear whether this product creates and uses data profiles for personalised advertisements.
10.5: Filtered Advertising
  • Unclear whether ads displayed to children are filtered for inappropriate content.
10.6: Marketing Communications
  • The company can send marketing messages.
  • Unclear whether this company provides promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
10.7: Unsubscribe
  • Users can opt out of contextual, or personalised advertising.
  • Users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
10.8: Do Not Track
  • Unclear whether this product responds to "Do Not Track" or other opt-out mechanisms.
  • Unclear whether the company provides a method for users to opt-out from third-party tracking.

11: Compliance

11.1: Children Under 13
  • 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.
  • Account creation is not restricted or prohibited for users under 13 years of age.
11.2: Students in K–12
  • 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.
  • Unclear whether additional rights or protections may be provided with an additional school contract.
  • Unclear whether the company is designated as a school official.
11.3: Parental Consent
  • Parental consent is required before personal information is collected or disclosed.
  • Parental consent is not limited 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.
  • Parental consent obligations are transferred to the school or district.
11.4: Legal Requirements
  • The legal jurisdiction that applies to the laws governing the policies is indicated.
  • Unclear whether a user is required to waive the right to a jury trial, or settle any disputes by arbitration.
  • Unclear whether a user is required to waive the right to join a class action lawsuit.
  • A company will disclose personal information to law enforcement.
11.5: Certification
  • The company has signed a privacy pledge or received a privacy certification.
11.6: International Laws
  • A user's data are subject to International data transfer or jurisdiction laws.
  • The company has indicated it is a Data Controller or Data Processor.