Reader friendly privacy policies are possible
So when my third grader came home with a teacher’s letter that stated she had been signed up for a new app in school meant to “excite and encourage kids to read” I was less than enthused. I took a deep breath and went to the website to see what this was all about. And I was pleasantly surprised.
Of course, I was bracing myself for pages and pages of legal terms and complicated policies but that was not the case here! This app has one of the most user friendly privacy policies documents that I have seen in a long time.
I was encouraged when I began to read their privacy policies. The first three paragraphs help build my confidence as a user / parent and clearly explain what the company does and what their approach to privacy is. Not wasting time, in the second paragraph, the company laid out why they take extra precautions when signing up kids for their software. They explain that because the platform is meant for children 13 and younger they need to make sure that appropriate security and privacy practices are in place. They continue and explain that they need to comply with COPPA and include a link to the COPPA website. Further, it reminds us, parents, that we need to talk with our children about online safety and to stay involved in the kid’s online activity.
I really like how easy the document is laid out, it has short and easy to read paragraphs. All the sections have a heading in bold from what they are using cookies to through IP information and other information they collect. They clearly state how the student information is stored and they clarify that they encrypt all PII whenever it is transmitted.
Most of us have legitimate concerns of how our data is transferred to an unknown party in the case of a sale, merger or bankruptcy situation and most privacy policies do not explain clearly how data is handled in these cases. However, in this case, the company clarifies that even though the data may be transferred or sold they will notify you about this change before transferring any information and states that you may decide to continue or discontinue the service at that time. They do note that it is our own responsibility to check back regularly in case the privacy policies change (and that is fair) but they also state that if any material changes to the policy are made, they will seek consent via email before the changes become effective.