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Privacy Concerns for ClassDojo and Other Tracking Apps for Schoolchildren

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/technology/privacy-concerns-for-classdojo-and-other-tracking-apps-for-schoolchildren.html

One morning in mid-October, Mr. Fletcher walked to the front of the classroom where an interactive white board displayed ClassDojo, a behavior-tracking app that lets teachers award points or subtract them based on a student’s conduct. On the board was a virtual classroom showing each student’s name, a cartoon avatar and the student’s scores so far that week.

“I’m going to have to take a point for no math homework,” Mr. Fletcher said to a blond boy in a striped shirt and then clicked on the boy’s avatar, a googly-eyed green monster, and subtracted a point.

The program emitted a disappointed pong sound, audible to the whole class — and sent a notice to the child’s parents if they had signed up for an account on the service.

ClassDojo Enacts Data Deletion Policy

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com//2014/11/18/classdojo-adopts-deletion-policy-for-student-data

The maker of ClassDojo, a popular behavioral tracking app used in schools across the United States, announced revisions on Tuesday in the way it retains student information.

Starting in January, the company intends to keep students’ behavioral records for only one school year.

“We are not a data company. So we have no need to keep any data beyond allowing it to be communicated between teachers, parents and students,” Sam Chaudhary, the co-founder of ClassDojo, wrote in an email to a reporter. “We think one year will give busy parents an opportunity to find time to review this information.”

ClassDojo and Digital Dossier Concerns

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/technology/privacy-concerns-for-classdojo-and-other-tracking-apps-for-schoolchildren.html

But some parents, teachers and privacy law scholars say ClassDojo, along with other unproven technologies that record sensitive information about students, is being adopted without sufficiently considering the ramifications for data privacy and fairness, like where and how the data might eventually be used.