Frequently Asked Questions - iKeepSafe

Why iKeepSafe

Why iKeepSafe?

For more than a decade, schools and parents have relied on iKeepSafe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, for balanced information about using technology safely.

iKeepSafe’s reviews are conducted by some of the most qualified professionals in the field.

My product already has strong privacy policies. What is the value of iKeepSafe Privacy Assessments on top of these?

Your privacy policies and practices might already be top-notch, but schools are seeking assurance by a trusted third party. Undergoing iKeepSafe’s vetting process communicates to educators, parents, and school systems that the product not only complies with state and federal policy, but also iKeepSafe’s rigorous standard of excellence.

A “strong” privacy policy doesn’t necessarily ensure that a product is prepared for educational use — products collecting student data have specific legal requirements, so privacy policies that work well for general consumer use may not adhere to the needs of these laws.

Will schools recognize the badge and use the product?

Absolutely. For over 10 years, iKeepSafe has built itself as a reliable source within the educational community. We have an expansive network of districts, schools, and educators who will look to us to recommend the safest products for their students. Programs that undergo a privacy assessment will be added to the iKeepSafe Trusted Products database, a source from which educators can confidently shop.

The California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA) helped us develop these assessments, and continue to endorse them. iKeepSafe can recommend products that undergo assessments to the schools served by CETPA — about 70% of those in the state of California.

The Assessments

What does privacy & security mean for edtech vendors and educators?

Federal and state law requires stringent due diligence from both technology vendors and local educational agencies in protecting the privacy of student data. Educators can neither use nor form valid contracts with vendors whose products are not compliant with legal privacy requirements.

Vendors need access to privacy and security professionals to maintain a competitive edge in edtech, but legal fees are often too high for emerging companies, and consequences for noncompliance are exorbitant.

Educators need ways of easily knowing that the tools they are bringing into school are safe and legal. 

Why a Badge?

We found that edtech vendors were repeatedly spending resources to both complete privacy reviews with attorneys and communicate their practices to their customers – schools. Our badges allow vendors to complete one initial assessment and demonstrate their ongoing compliance with federal and state privacy and security laws. 

What sort of product does iKeepSafe assess?

Websites, apps, data-management systems, and any other technology handling student data can be assessed not only for compliance with federal and state law, but also alignment with iKeepSafe’s guiding principles and recommended best practices. 

What do the Product Profiles look like?
What are the benefits of iKeepSafe Privacy Assessments?
  • Quality privacy professionals, each with over 20 years of experience in online privacy and child safety policy – to whom vendors will have year-round access.
  • Protection of the product investment with assurances that can only come from a trusted third party review.
  • High visibility in the iKeepSafe network of schools, teachers, professional associations, and industry partners.
  • A product profile that demonstrates transparency of their student data practices to schools and parents.
  • Market advantage simplifies the purchasing process for schools, builds confidence and communication between schools and participating companies.
  • A Badge and/or Seal to display on the product website and marketing materials, indicating good standing in iKeepSafe’s Assessment programs and a product logo showcased on the iKeepSafe website.
What went into iKeepSafe’s Privacy and Security Standards?

iKeepSafe has partnered with CETPA and the lawyers at Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost to ensure that our Privacy Assessments meet the standards of legal and educational leaders.

“With the passage of AB 1584 and SOPIPA many districts are struggling to adequately vet vendor privacy policies let alone technical review of vendor products to assure compliance. The iKeepSafe badging process would give me assurance that the vendor’s product has been thoroughly reviewed and is compliant with this new student privacy legislation.

Having a badge would give me confidence that I could move forward with a vendor’s product knowing that student data will be protected.”

– Stephen K.Carr, President Elect of CETPA, CTO Ventura County Office of Education

The Process

What is involved in the assessment process?
  1. Companies provide iKeepSafe with access to the product and all appropriate documentation associated with it.
  2. A thorough manual and technical product review is conducted to assess compliance with the iKeepSafe Privacy Assessment guidelines, and assistance is provided in bringing products into alignment.
  3. A customized Product Profile detailing data collection, handling practices, and other relevant policies is developed for each product that meets the program requirements.
  4. The Product Profile will be posted on the iKeepSafe website and made available to interested schools, providing them with a simple and assured way to assess participating products for compliance with federal law, applicable state laws, and local policies.
  5. The respective iKeepSafe Privacy Badge is awarded to products that remain in good standing with the privacy programs and that meet the annual renewal requirements.
How long does it take?

The initial assessment can normally be completed within a month. After the fourth month, the ongoing subscription and monthly monitoring begins.

Does iKeepSafe share when products do not pass the assessment?

No. All of the iKeepSafe Privacy Assessments are performed under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). It is iKeepSafe’s policy only to report “good news” – we do not rank products, and we do not report areas needing improvement. Under NDA, we help companies complete the assessments by bringing and keeping their products into alignment with their federal and state requirements. 

How will our certification be promoted?

Promotional opportunities upon completion include:

  • Press release & featured in monthly newsletter
  • Featured on our Certified Products page.
  • Recognized and promoted by participating education organizations and school districts
  • Shared with district technology leaders at frequent iKeepSafe educator privacy trainings
  • Promoted by iKeepSafe at national and international conferences, trade shows, speaking opportunities
How much work does the vendor have to do?

After vendors submit a questionnaire, data table, and all written policies to iKeepSafe, the remaining work will primarily be done by the iKeepSafe privacy professionals. They will log in to the product as a student, teacher, parent, school administrator, etc. (whichever is applicable to your particular product). 

For Educators

I am an educator. Where are iKeepSafe’s old resources, such as Faux Paw the Techno Cat?

Find all of iKeepSafe’s available resources here.

Where can I find a list of approved products?

You can find our current list of approved products on our Certified Products page.

COPPA Safe Harbor California Student Privacy Certified ATLIS Certified
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