Updates Coming to the Privacy Evaluations in January 2018

Want to learn more about updates to the privacy evaluations? Get an overview here.

November 22, 2017
Bill Fitzgerald Director, Privacy Initiative
Director, Privacy Initiative

CATEGORIES Privacy Evaluation Initiative

As part of our commitment to helping children thrive in the digital world, Common Sense Education has been working with a consortium of over 140 schools and districts since 2014 to help evaluate edtech products in the areas of safety, privacy, compliance, and security practices. We seek not only to evaluate edtech but also to work with the K–12 educational software industry to simplify and standardize privacy policies.

The consortium developed a public standard for evaluating privacy practices and policies, and to date we have completed reviews of over 300 products. These evaluations are currently available at https://privacy.commonsense.org.

In mid-January 2018 we will be publishing the next phase of our work and incorporating the privacy evaluations into our edtech tool reviews on the Common Sense Education website. The updated evaluations will include the designation of products within three clear tiers:

  • Use Responsibly
  • Use with Caution
  • Not Recommended

In addition to the tiers, more detailed information will be noted on https://privacy.commonsense.org, where the existing privacy evaluations are already available.

To learn more about the specific criteria for the tiers, as well as the visual representations we plan to use, please see this blog post. For the full set of questions in the evaluation, along with citations, please browse our full question set.

While we recommend that vendors look at the more detailed information linked above, it is important to understand that a service earns a "Not Recommended" evaluation only if it does not have a privacy policy or if it does not require or support encryption for logged-in users. This information is already available for evaluated products at privacy.commonsense.org.

We are unable to respond directly to any requests for reevaluation or answer questions specific to your product beforehand. However, please note that our privacy evaluation tool checks privacy policies automatically every 48 hours for updates that are logged for our privacy analysts; we will also be checking manually for those vendors that have no policies available before launch in early January.

For updates on our ongoing work, please follow our Privacy Blog or Twitter account @cs_privacy.


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