K-12 Inspector Information Sheet

Purpose of the Study

We would like to evaluate how education platforms handle students’ information and how that information is protected.
Interested in participating in the study?

How We Plan to Accomplish This

Partnership With the School

Your district will install a custom extension (program) on the Internet browsers of school-provided laptops of participating students. Your district, or participating students, may also be asked to enter some student information (e.g., names and addresses) into this extension. Any such information, other than the name of the school district and the student’s grade level, will be stored on the student’s laptop and will not be shared with the researchers.

Mechanics of the Web Extension

Our extension will use the student provided information to check whether the online education platforms we are studying share sensitive details about your students with other entities. After this setup process, your students should use their school-provided laptops as normal.

Data Privacy Concerns FAQ

  • Will This Extension Collect Data on Every Website Students Use? No. The extension will only collect information – name, school district, grade, phone number, geolocation, and website – when a student accesses specific online education platforms listed in a whitelist. This whitelist will be defined in collaboration with you, the school/district.
  • Will the Researchers Have Access to Students’ Personal Information Or Store Students’ Personal Information? No. By design, all personal information about a student will be stored on the student’s device. There is no technical mechanism for us to access that data. Moreover, since each student retains their own personal information, we do not have any of their personal information to store on our servers.
  • What Information Does the Web Extension Transmit? When a student is on an approved website the extension records metadata such as URL, timestamp, and packet headers of HTTP requests to and from the platform and other online services. The extension sends this metadata, along with a pseudonymous student identifier, to the researchers.

Anticipated Outcome of the Study

We expect that the data collected by the web extension will help identify relationships between education platforms and online tracking services. Thus, uncovering the entities that may receive student data through content requests or embedding.

Interested in participating in the study?