BrainPOP

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Show Overview
Audience
Teachers, Students, Other (Staff etc.)
Good To Know
Used with Under 13, Vendor self-defines as School Official, Vendor does not clearly define a process for parental consent
Privacy Policy
Policy length: 7,405 words
No. of policies: 2
Time to read: 59 minutes

App Overview

Disclosure: Common Sense Education content is included as a third-party game in BrainPOP. BrainPOP is a subscription service that provides access to animated movies, learning games, interactive quizzes, primary source activities, and concept mapping. An add-on subscription called “My BrainPOP” lets teachers customize assessments, incorporate gaming into instruction, and keep track of learning. The terms specify that students cannot communicate privately with each other, and within My BrainPOP, students can only interact with teachers who created the My BrainPOP class. The terms make a distinction between BrainPOP and MyBrainPOP, and state that schools can use BrainPOP without sharing any personal data from students. The terms state that BrainPOP encrypts data in transit, and has their servers located in physically secure locations. In the terms, BrainPOP specifies that they are acting as a School Official under FERPA.
Safety
What's This?
Evaluating Safety takes into consideration best practices that protect a user's physical and emotional health.
The terms specify that students cannot communicate privately with each other, and within My BrainPOP, students can only interact with teachers who created the My BrainPOP class. In order for a teacher to create a My BrainPOP class, they must be invited by the appointed school administrator. The work within BrainPop is primarily directed by teachers, and the terms indicate that parent accounts are available. Access to accounts is controlled via access codes created by school staff and teachers.
Privacy
What's This?
Evaluating Privacy takes into consideration best practices that protect the disclosure of a user's personal information.
The terms make a distinction between BrainPOP and MyBrainPOP, and state that schools can use BrainPOP without sharing any personal data from students. While the terms of service do not list third party service providers, the terms specify that third parties are "bound contractually to practice adequate security measures and only use your information for the sole purpose of providing the services." The terms specify that the vendor will not share any information for marketing or advertising purposes. The terms also state that some third parties are allowed to place cookies on the website and collect and use information directly.
Security
What's This?
Evaluating Security takes into consideration best practices that protect the integrity and confidentiality of a user's data.
The terms state that BrainPOP encrypts data in transit, and has their servers located in physically secure locations. The terms also state that access to data is restricted to specific staff, and that all people with access to student records pass criminal background checks. They also have a regular program of updating their software, paired with regular security audits.
Compliance
What's This?
Evaluating Compliance takes into consideration best practices of companies that collect personal information from children or students and the legal obligations for the privacy and security of that information.
In the terms, BrainPOP specifies that they are acting as a School Official under FERPA. The terms specify that any user under the age of 13 needs to "get permission from your parent/legal guardian before using this website or app or sending any e-mail to us." Schools maintain control over student records, and while the terms do not specify details, it appears that schools or teachers are responsible for obtaining any needed parental consent. Teachers signing up for BrainPOP should make sure that they have the required authority in their district, and verifiable parental consent.

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 streamline making an informed decision about the potential privacy implications of educational technology used to support teaching and learning. The bars in the evaluations are not a measure of absolute safety or risk rather, they suggest areas to be considered and examined as part of using the application.

Our core evaluation criteria are freely available, and will remain freely available. People are encouraged to read the questions we use and the information security primer we released. 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.

Common Sense is the nation‘s leading independent non-profit organization dedicated to empowering kids to thrive in a world of media and technology.

Families, educators, and policymakers turn to Common Sense for unbiased information and trusted advice to help them learn how to harness the positive power of media and technology for all kids.

Privacy Policy