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Privacy Rating of Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read

Learn about the privacy risks of a new reading app for kids

Girard Kelly | March 26, 2020

Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read is a popular new app to help children learn to read and have fun while they practice reading and writing. The data collection and network activity practices observed when launching the app appeared consistent with Duolingo's policies. However, the app does have privacy risks when it comes to displaying ads to children and using aggregate interest data from kids for market research purposes.

What We Found

Duolingo's terms say social features such as profiles, forums, and clubs are disabled for children. Duolingo's terms also say instead of collecting any personally identifiable information about a child, they will only store the e-mail address of the child's parent or guardian. In addition, the terms say Duolingo has implemented administrative and technical safeguards it believes are sufficient to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of a child's data. However, Duolingo's terms say Duolingo ABC is separate from the traditional Duolingo learning app and does not share any account information between the two.

The Duolingo ABC app is designed to be set up by parents, and the terms say a parent or guardian needs to provide their child's age before use. Parents and educators should be aware that the terms do not say whether Duolingo can sell data to third parties, and the app may display advertisements to children, but only age-appropriate advertisements are shown and these ads do not perform behavioral tracking. Lastly, children can not enter profile information such as a profile picture or a bio.

Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read can be accessed through its website and is available for download at the iOS App Store. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use accessed for this evaluation can be found on Duolingo's website. Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include Community Guidelines. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Privacy Rating

privacy rating and score (How we rate)

How safe is this product? What rights do I have to the data? Are there advertisements or tracking?
Better Users cannot interact with trusted users and/or students. Better Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected. Worse Data is shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Better Users cannot interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults. Unclear Unclear whether users can control their information through privacy settings. Worse Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
Better Profile information is not shared for social interactions. Better Users cannot create or upload content. Better Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.