- 1. Our Commitment to Privacy
- 2. Our Compliance With COPPA And FERPA
Our learning platform is designed for schools and teachers working with K–12 students. We recognize the sensitive nature of personal information concerning students under age 13, and concerning K–12 students generally, where the information is contained in a school's educational records. This personal information is protected under either or both of the following federal statutes: the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA") and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, including the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment ("FERPA"). Our privacy practices comply with both COPPA and FERPA.
- 4. Consent from Schools regarding Students' Personal Information
FERPA permits a school to provide educational records (including those that contain students' personal information) to certain service providers without requiring the school to obtain specific parental consent. FERPA permits this where the service provider acts as a type of "school official" by performing services, for example, that would otherwise be performed by the school's own employees. We fulfill FERPA requirements for qualifying as a school official by, among other steps, giving the school direct control with respect to the use and maintenance of the education records at issue (including associated personal information), and refraining from re-disclosing or using this personal information except for purposes of providing our learning platform to the school. We comply with FERPA by relying on this form of consent.
- 5. Consents from Other Users
- 6. The Types of User Information We Collect
We limit our collection of personal information to no more than is reasonably necessary for the user at issue to participate in our learning platform. Specifically, we collect the following types of information:
- School Administrator Information: we collect registration information from a school administrator when the school administrator activates the school's subscription account, which may include the school administrator's own first and last name, business address and phone number, date of birth, email address, and username;
- Teacher Information: we collect registration information from a teacher or school administrator when the teacher (or school administrator) activates the teacher's account, which may include the teacher's first and last name, business address and phone number, date of birth, email address, and username; additionally, we may collect information that constitutes Performance Review Data;
- Student Information: we collect registration information from a teacher or school administrator when the teacher (or school administrator) activates the account of an individual student, which may include the student's first and last name, email address, username and other information which may include gender, race, and ethnicity;
- Schoolwork Information: we collect information contained in student homework, assignments, student compositions and reports, tests, test results, grades, and other exchanges over our learning platform;
- User-Generated Content: we collect information that students and other users provide in connection with submitting user-generated content, and participating in collaborative features of our learning platform (where applicable). Examples of user-generated content that might contain personal information include stories, responses to teacher assignments (either in text, image, audio, or video format), drawings that allow text or free-hand entry of information, and other information provided in open-text and open-form fields; and
- Usage Information: we collect usage, viewing, analytics, and technical data, including device identifiers and IP addresses, relating to users of our learning platform.
If we discover that we have collected information in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of COPPA or FERPA, we will either (a) delete the information or (b) promptly seek requisite consents before taking further action concerning the information.
- 7. How We Collect Personal Information
- 8. How We Use Personal Information
We use personal information for the following purposes:
- To provide users with the content and features available through our learning platform;
- To communicate with school administrators and teachers about the applicable subscription account or transactions with us, and to send information about our learning platform's features and, where applicable, changes to these features;
- To personalize our learning platform's content and experiences for students, teachers, and other users of the platform; and
- To detect, investigate and prevent activities that may violate our policies or be illegal.
We do not as a rule allow third-party operators to collect personal information or usage information through persistent identifiers on our learning platform for any purposes other than the internal operations of our platform. Further, we do not use personal information collected through our Platform for the purpose of targeted advertising.
- 9. We Do Not Share Personal Information Beyond Our Learning Platform Except In Specific, Limited Circumstances
- In response to the request of a law enforcement agency or other authorized public agency, including a request by a children's services agency or by the school at issue;
- To protect the security or integrity of our learning platform and associated applications and technology, as well as the technology of our service providers;
- To enable us to take precautions against liability, enforce legal rights, and to detect, investigate and prevent activities that violate our policies or that are illegal;
- If we are directed to do so by a subscribing school in connection with an investigation related to public safety, the safety of a student, or the violation of a school policy; and
- In other cases if we believe in good faith that disclosure is required by law.
- 10. How We Protect Personal Information
We have implemented and maintain technical, administrative and physical security controls that are designed to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of personal information collected through our learning platform from unauthorized access, disclosure, use or modification. Our information security controls comply with reasonable and accepted industry practice, as well as requirements under COPPA and FERPA. We diligently follow these information security controls and periodically review and test our information security controls to keep them current.
- 10.1 Information Security Procedures. We will:
- Standard of Care. Keep and maintain all personal information in strict confidence, using such degree of care as is appropriate to avoid unauthorized access, use, modification, or disclosure;
- Use for School Purposes Only. Collect, use, and disclose personal information solely and exclusively for the purposes for which you provided the personal information, or access to it to us, and not use, sell, rent, transfer, distribute, modify, data mine, or otherwise disclose or make available personal information for our own purposes or for the benefit of anyone other than the school, without the school's prior written consent;
- Non-Disclosure. Not, directly or indirectly, disclose personal information to any person other than our employees and service providers who have a need to know, without express written consent from the school;
- No Commingling. Segregate (via logical, database, or physical segregation) personal information from our other information or our other customers so that a school's users' personal information is not commingled with any other types of information not related to the school;
- Employee Training. Provide appropriate privacy and information security training to our employees.
- Transport Security. Use Transport Layer Security (TLS) for the transmission of all user data to and from our learning platform; and
- Secure Storage. Use industry standard file encryption for user data that is subject to protection under either COPPA, FERPA, or both. Where file encryption is not reasonably feasible, we employ other industry standard safeguards, protections, and countermeasures to protect such data, including authentication and access controls within media, applications, operating systems and equipment.
- 10.2 Data Location and Security. We use cloud service providers in the delivery and operation of our learning platform(s), and data (including personal information) is stored on the servers of our cloud service providers. Our contracts with our cloud service providers requires them to implement reasonable and appropriate measures designed to secure content against accidental or unlawful loss, access, or disclosure. Our cloud service providers have at least the following security measures in place for their networks and systems: (i) secure HTTP access (HTTPS) points for customer access, (ii) built-in firewalls, (iii) tested incident response program, (iv) resilient infrastructure and computing environments, (v) ITIL based patch management system, (vi) high physical security based on SSAE-16 standards, and (vii) documented change control processes. To the extent we store personal information internally on our servers, we comply with the information security controls set out in Section 10.1.
- 10.3 Data Breach Response. In the event of a security breach involving Personal Information, we will take prompt steps to mitigate the breach, evaluate and respond to the intrusion, and cooperate and assist schools and other subscribers in efforts with respect to (i) responding to the breach, including the provision of notices to data subjects; and (ii) engaging mutually agreeable auditors or examiners in connection with the security breach, subject to reasonable notice, access and confidentiality limitations.
- 11. Access and Control of Personal Information
School administrators and (where applicable) teachers hold access to personal information of the students for whom they are responsible, and they are able to update this information in the manner permitted by our learning platform. School administrators and teachers are similarly able to access and update their own personal information. The parents of a student can obtain access — through their child's school — to information concerning their child that is available on our learning platform. To do so, the parent should follow the school's procedures for access under FERPA. We cooperate with and facilitate the school's response to these access requests. Where the school's procedures do not apply to the parent's access request (and the request is otherwise proper), we will ourselves fulfill the request if and as required by law. After fulfilling an access request, we will update and (where necessary) correct the personal information at issue, as requested by the school or individual entitled to such access. We limit access to personal information to only those employees (i) who have a need to know such information, and (ii) who use the information only for the educational purposes of operating our learning platform and delivering our services.
- 12. Our Retention and Deletion of Personal Information
We retain personal information of users of our learning platform (i) for so long as reasonably necessary (ii) to permit the user to participate in the platform, (iii) to ensure the security of our users and our services, or (iv) as required by law or contractual commitment. After this period has expired, we will delete the personal information from our systems. Please understand that these deletion periods apply to personal information and do not apply to de-identified information. We retain de-identified information in accordance with our standard practices for similar information, and do not retain or delete such information in accordance with this policy.
In addition, if requested by a school, we will delete from our platform the personal information of the school's users, including its teachers and students, as the school directs. Deleting this information will prevent the school user from engaging in some or all features of our learning platform. Where required by local law, we will delete such information and provide a certification of such deletion.
- 13. NY Parents' Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security
- 14. Definitions
"De-identified information" means information that meets each of the following criteria: the information (i) does not identify a particular natural person; (ii) does not identify, by network Internet Protocol address, raw hardware serial number, or raw MAC address, a particular device or computer associated with or used by a person; (iii) does not identify the school at issue by name or address; and (iv) is not reasonably linkable to a particular natural person or school because of technical, legal, or other controls.
"Parent" means a parent or legal guardian of a student.
"Performance Review Data" means professional performance review data of teachers related to the teacher's effectiveness in the classroom and other measurements based upon factors including, but not limited to, student achievement or growth on state assessments or examinations, classroom observations by peers, classroom observations by trained evaluators, evaluation of lesson plans and other indicia of teacher practices. Performance Review Data includes annual professional performance data, as defined under New York state law.
"Personal Information" means information that identifies a natural person, as specified in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, including the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment ("FERPA") and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 6501–6506 ("COPPA"), the California Student Online Personal Information Protection Act, Ch. 22.2, §§ 22584 et seq. of the California Business and Professions Code, and Section 49073.1 of the California Education Code.
"Student" means an individual receiving educational instruction via our learning platform. The term "student" includes individuals within the K–12 age group, and individuals who are children under the age of 13.
"Usage Information" means information that does not directly identify a particular person, but that may be linkable to a particular computer or device (via a unique device ID or otherwise).
"We" or "us" or "our" refers to HMH.
- 15. Contact Us
- 16. Do Not Track
Our learning platform does not change its behavior when receiving the "Do Not Track" signal from browser software.
- 17. Effective Date