Early on in the product development process, Buncee began putting parameters into place to comply with COPPA, knowing that students using the product needed to learn and explore in a safe environment. To help with understanding and ensuring compliance, the company looked into the COPPA Safe Harbor Program.
In looking at the available COPPA Safe Harbor organizations, Buncee narrowed the choices down to three competing third-party companies including iKeepSafe. After interviewing the three options, the decision to purchase an iKeepSafe Data Privacy Assessment was made based on:
Value: iKeepSafe services do not end with the completion of the privacy assessment. When Buncee makes new updates to their product, iKeepSafe is available for email or phone conversations surrounding any needs with regards to data privacy compliance. iKeepSafe has a continuing relationship with Buncee, including monthly communication on privacy issues. It is this value that made iKeepSafe the clear choice in purchasing a third-party data privacy certification.
Return on Investment: The investment in an iKeepSafe COPPA Safe Harbor third-party data privacy assessment pays for itself daily through conversations with educators and school administrators. When education clients ask if Buncee is safe for students to use, Buncee is able to state without doubt that its product is compliant with all COPPA data privacy regulations.
Peace of Mind & Trust: Because of the trusting relationship with the iKeepSafe team, Buncee has peace of mind that their product is meeting all COPPA requirements. This trust and peace of mind is then passed on to Buncee’s clientele of educators, administrators, students and parents who can be assured that their privacy is protected.
“We wear the iKeepSafe badge proudly. It shows that our product is safe and compliant, and that as a company, our priority is the students”
How did you hear about iKeepSafe? What made you choose iKeepSafe?
Our CEO, Marie Arturi, and I are both moms, so we both look at student privacy from the viewpoint of parents. We ask ourselves, “How would I feel if those were my kids?” Early on, as a company, we took COPPA guidelines into consideration within all of our product features. We wanted students to be able to learn and explore in a safe environment. In taking compliance a step further, we began looking into all of the COPPA Safe Harbor third-party organizations. To be completely honest, I felt most comfortable with iKeepSafe. From the start, iKeepSafe took what seemed like an extremely daunting task and made it feel manageable. We felt like iKeepSafe would be with us every step of the way, and that is what made us move forward.
Was price a factor in the decision making process?
Price definitely is a factor, that’s a given. However, when we started looking into the Safe Harbor program, we honestly weren’t sure if we were going to move forward with certification. We needed to understand what we were going to get for that cost [of the assessment], that any loose ends would be tied up regarding COPPA compliance, and that they were as concerned about protecting the privacy of our students as we were. With other companies we didn’t get that feeling. Our ultimate decision to go with iKeepSafe was based on the trust we had in their team, and knowing that our students would ultimately benefit from our relationship with iKeepSafe.
Why is having an iKeepSafe COPPA Privacy Certification Badge important to your company?
Student privacy has always been an enormous priority for us. We wanted to be certain that our entire platform was COPPA compliant and that there were no holes. We wanted the proof from someone other than ourselves that we were compliant, and having the badge immediately lets educators and administrators know that they can trust in the safety provisions our team has put into place to protect their students. Unless you’re hiring someone who used to work at the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), I wouldn’t want to take on the responsibility of making the definitive statement that we comply. iKeepSafe made me feel like it was a team effort.
We also see having an iKeepSafe badge as peace of mind for our company with regards to the FTC. The badge signifies that we have done our due diligence in complying with COPPA, that someone from outside of the Buncee team has gone through the site. Not only do I know that our students are secure and safe, but I have the expertise and experience of the iKeepSafe team on our side.
What was the assessment process like? What was the time commitment?
The entire process took a few months. With certain safety features already in place, we began working with iKeepSafe. We started with the assessment process, which was initially a bit time consuming for myself and our Product Manager. However, the process was not as invasive or rigid as I had anticipated. We filled out the initial guides, gathered all of the information, and asked the team at iKeepSafe numerous questions, and from there our developers re-evaluated and implemented any necessary changes. If you don’t build out compliance from the beginning, it may take more work, but overall, it was not an unmanageable time investment and the return is worth every minute.
As a vendor, what returns on investment have you seen by having the badge?
I can sleep at night! Protecting student privacy has always been important to Buncee, it has always been a priority. It is frightening, but in today’s environment it has to be a priority. I hear horror stories about people violating copyright, FERPA, COPPA, and knowing we have an outstanding relationship with an expert in these matters (iKeepSafe) means the world to us. I see the benefit of having the iKeepSafe badge every single day, from educators inquiring about it on Twitter, to in-depth conversations about student privacy with administrators. The question surrounding how we maintain student privacy is on every RFP, every funding initiative. Some districts don’t even allow companies to step foot into their schools without proving that you’re COPPA compliant. We wear the iKeepSafe badge proudly. It shows that our product is safe and compliant, and that as a company, our priority is the students.Download Case Study PDF