We all know privacy with educational technology is complicated. Along with multiple compliance issues with privacy, context also matters a great deal. A student's personal information and the type of data collected by applications and services used in the classroom are just a few of the many factors contributing to the complexity of reading and interpreting dozens of different privacy policies. As a result, there is no one size fits all solution for privacy.

Schools and districts are looking for deeper insight and a more personalized solution to understanding all the privacy practices of a product used with their students. Our Privacy Direct Tool gives schools and districts access to the privacy evaluation data of hundreds of products in a raw format to allow individual schools and districts to choose, filter, sort, and scrutinize the privacy categories and evaluation questions that matter the most to them.

Why evaluate privacy?

In the past year alone, schools have been facing new challenges and privacy risks when it comes to balancing the power of online learning with the requirements of and concerns about online privacy. The Common Sense Privacy Program was created to champion student privacy and support educators, schools, and communities on a path toward a more secure digital future for all kids.

Schools and districts can use our easy-to-understand privacy evaluation data to make informed choices about the products they use in the classroom and pass on that information to students and families using apps at home. Privacy evaluation data can speed up the decision-making process so administrators can find the most appropriate tools to use with students in the classroom and their daily lives.

What are our goals?

  • To give school and district administrators the information they need to make informed choices about the learning tools they use with students.

  • To empower schools and districts to thoroughly assess technology products used in K–12 classrooms.

  • To collaborate with software developers to make sure their policies are transparent and comprehensive and created with kids' best interests in mind.

How are our privacy evaluations different?

  • We read the policies. It's that simple. We are the only evaluators who read all of a product's policies and use a full 150-point privacy evaluation of that product's terms to provide a comprehensive evaluation. Many other evaluators do not provide an evaluation based on a product's actual privacy policy and/or only observe a product's privacy controls to try to determine whether it's safe to use.

  • We protect more than students. We primarily evaluate the privacy practices of edtech products currently used by children and students in schools and districts. Edtech applications and services intended for students pose unique privacy risks because of the sensitive personal information they can collect. However, we also evaluate whether a product's privacy practices have an impact on educators, district administrators, and parents, who, in many cases, use the product with their children or students. Many other evaluators focus only on how a product protects student information but do not evaluate whether privacy protections are available for other users of a product, such as educators and district staff.


Simply put, there is no other source of this data. Other companies with privacy ratings simply try and rate the privacy practices of products without reading the privacy policies, which is like writing a book review without actually reading the book.


For more information contact Steve Garton at [email protected]