9 DOTS APP PRIVACY POLICY

 

About 9 Dots

9 Dots is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing transformative computer science education for every student in underserved LA schools.

We understand how important privacy is to our community. The purpose of this Privacy Policy is to be as transparent as possible about the data that we collect through the 9 Dots Website, why we collect it, and how we collect it. We want you to be informed of your rights and choices as a User of the 9 Dots Website.

9 Dots is committed to protecting Users’ information. The purpose of the 9 Dots Website is to provide a safe online environment for Teachers and Students to engage in computer science education. Anyone can visit the 9 Dots Website and browse 9 Dots course material without signing into an account (however, an account is necessary for saving course content and progress). Any and all data that we collect is used solely in service of our mission of providing an excellent computer science education experience for our Users. We do not run any ads on our Website, nor do we use any Users’ Personal Information for financial gain in any way. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, our revenue comes from grants, donations, and school subscription fees. We established ourselves as a non-profit organization so that a for-profit motive will not interfere with our mission. We do our best to provide you with control of the information that you provide to 9 Dots via our Website. If you have any questions, please contact us at help@9dots.org.

 

Privacy Policy

For the purposes of this Privacy Policy, our websites located at https://www.9dots.org, https://app.9dots.org, our application programming interface (our “API”), and online services are collectively referred to as our “Website.” Visitors and users of the Website are referred to individually as “User” and collectively as “Users”. Any User with a student account is referred to as “Student” even if they are using the 9 Dots Website outside of a school setting. Similarly, any User that creates a teacher account is referred to as “Teacher.”

Your use of the Website and any information you provide on the Website are subject to the terms of this Privacy Policy. By visiting or using our Website, you expressly consent to the information handling practices described in this Privacy Policy.

 

Collection and Use of Your Information

The table below describes the type of data that is collected by 9 Dots when Users interact with our Website, under what circumstances this data is collected, and how specifically the data is used. For the purposes of this Privacy Policy, “Personal Information” means any information that identifies you as an individual. Technical data such as persistent cookies or IP addresses are referred to as “Persistent Identifiers.” We collectively refer to any data we collect from Students, along with any Student information and Student records as “Student Data.” We obtain data relating to our Users from various sources described below.

Our collection, use, and disclosure of Student Data are governed by our Privacy Policy and also by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and applicable state laws that relate to the collection of Student Data, including California’s Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA).

Data stored by 9 Dots for Teacher accounts How/when the data is collected How the data is used
Gmail address Required in order to create a Teacher account. Used for Google authentication and occasionally sending notices to the Teacher about the Website.
Full name To associate a Teacher with their class(es).
Display name The name that Students in a class will see (e.g. “Mrs. Smith”)
School name To associate a Teacher with their school.
Class data Upon account creation, the Teacher is prompted to either join or create a class. They can then create Student accounts in that class. To associate a Teacher with their Students’ data. When creating a new class, the Teacher inputs a class name, specifies grade level, and can then add Students and assign coursework. The class grouping data is used to simplify Teachers’ view of Students across multiple classes.
Survey & demographic data Collected through surveys as Teachers progress through online professional learning courses. Used for the purposes of evaluating our own work and improving our education results. Any survey data shared with external parties will be de-identified and aggregated.
Progress in online professional learning, including the date/time each lesson is accessed, the number of tries to complete an activity and whether it was completed successfully, time spent on an activity, code that a Teacher submits, and Teachers’ answers to prompts (e.g. checks for understanding, attitudinal questions) Collected as Teachers progress through online professional learning courses. Progress in online professional learning courses for Teachers are stored in their Teacher account in order to allow Teachers to pick up where they left off.

This data may also be used for the purposes of evaluating our own work and improving our education results. Any survey data shared with external parties will be de-identified and aggregated.
Teacher-created courses Collected as Teachers create courses. Teachers have the option to create their own courses in the platform, which they can assign to Students or other Teachers.
Data stored by 9 Dots for Student accounts How/when the data is collected How the data is used
Full name Required in order to create a Student account. To associate a Student with their Teacher(s) and class(es).
Email address Used solely as a unique identifier to track Student data even if they switch schools/Teachers/classes. We will never send emails directly to Students through the platform.
Progress in online courses, including the date/time each lesson is accessed, the number of tries to complete an activity and whether it was completed successfully, time spent on an activity, code that a Student submits, and Students’ answers to prompts (e.g. checks for understanding, attitudinal questions). Collected as students progress through online courses. Displayed to Students and their Teachers to see their progress in a course, to see the code they’ve created, and to identify activities/concepts they may need help with. It also lets Students pick up where they left off if they sign out and sign in later.

This data may also be used for the purposes of evaluating our own work and improving our education results. Any survey data shared with external parties will be de-identified and aggregated.
Survey & demographic data Collected through surveys as Students progress through online courses. Used for the purposes of evaluating our own work and improving our education results. Any survey data shared with external parties will be de-identified and aggregated.

 

Teachers may update, correct, or delete Personal Information in their and their Students’ 9 Dots accounts at any time via their Settings and Class Settings pages. Teachers also have the ability to change the password of any Student in their class. A parent or legal guardian of a Student under the age of 18 may also review Personal Information and correct erroneous information, if any, by asking the Teacher to access the Student account.

Teachers can create accounts on behalf of Students. When registering an account for a Student who is under the age of 13 (a “Child”), the Teacher represents and warrants that they or the educational organization they work for has proper permission to register the Child for the 9 Dots’ Website, and that they or the educational organization has obtained the necessary parental consent for collection of some of the Child’s Personal Information for the use and benefit of the school and for no other commercial purpose. In addition, they agree to be bound by this Privacy Policy on behalf of the educational organization they work for, and are authorized to do so.

Student data of any Student that is in a Teacher's class will continue to be under the control of the Teacher. The Teacher for a class gets access to the Student's course progress, display name and password for the duration of time that the Student is associated with that Teacher’s class.

In order to allow Users to recover deleted accounts, we will save progress, code creations and data for a period of time. A User can email help@9dots.org to request permanent deletion of their account and all the associated data. A Teacher, school or parent may also request the deletion of Student accounts or particular Student Data the same way.

 

Technical Information

To ensure a high-quality teaching and learning experience for our Users, we may use various technologies that automatically collect certain information from your device. This includes Internet Protocol (IP) address, browser type, clickstream data, operating system, time spent on each page of the Website, and date/time of last login.

Regardless of whether you have registered for an account on the 9 Dots Website, we may send you one or more cookies (small files that hold data about a specific User, which allows the Website to remember information about your activity and deliver a more personalized learning experience). We collect information via cookies to 1) ensure that the Website works properly for all Users, 2) facilitate a faster and more personalized experience for Users, and 3) help us improve our Website and its contents. Please note that without cookies enabled in your browser, you will not have access to certain services and features on the Website.

9 Dots does not allow advertising on our Website, and we do not have the ability to collect your web search history

 

Information from Third Party Authentication Services

When you register for a 9 Dots account through Google Accounts, you give 9 Dots the permission to store and use information already associated with your Google Account consistent with this Privacy Policy and the table above.

You should check your privacy settings on your Google account to understand and change the information sent to us through Google’s Authentication Service. Please review Google’s terms of use and privacy policies carefully before using their services and connecting to our Website.

 

Third Party Service Providers

9 Dots uses some third party services to implement certain features on our Website, including (but not limited to) Google Cloud Services (for website hosting and data storage) and Google Analytics (for understanding how our Website is used). Data will be used and stored by these third parties solely in the context of providing these implementation services to 9 Dots; these third parties will not receive any ownership or have any other rights to access or use this data.

 

Message Sending Between Website Users

Students may be asked to respond to surveys or prompts embedded within a course. These responses would be visible by their Teacher.

Otherwise, there is currently no system within our Website for Users to communicate directly with one another, either through direct messages or comments or any other means.

 

Testing Websites

For the purposes of testing our Website and services before releasing them to all Users, we use a testing version of our services for internal testing purposes only. This is meant only for experimental use by 9 Dots employees and is not considered part of the Website as defined in this agreement. Any information provided while using the testing version of our Website is not covered by this Privacy Policy.

 

Children Under Age 13

9 Dots courses are designed to be used primarily by students age 13 and under with the involvement of and pre-authorization by their school, teacher, parent or legal guardian.

It comes to 9 Dots’s attention that Personal Information or Persistent Identifiers from children under the age of 13 has been collected without parental or teacher consent, 9 Dots will take appropriate steps to delete this information. As a teacher, parent or legal guardian of a Student on 9 Dots, you can request that 9 Dots deactivates the Student’s account, deletes any inadvertently collected information, and ask that we no longer allow the Student to submit their information to 9 Dots’s Website. To do so, please contact us at help@9dots.org. Please note that we may attempt to verify your identity and your relationship with the Student.

 

How We Share Data

We do not sell any information that we collect from Users, or exploit it for financial gain in any way. 9 Dots will never share Personal Information with third parties to use without your consent.

Whenever we share Student Data, we hold our partners to privacy and security practices no less stringent than our own.

We may share Student Data with a Student’s Teacher and limited Teacher information with the Student. If a Student is in a Teacher’s class, we will share Student account information and course progress with that Teacher so the Teacher can manage the Student’s progress. The Student will also see limited information about their Teacher including their Teacher’s display name and class information.

We may share Student achievement data with the Student’s school or school district. We may allow the Student’s school or school district to access the same Student progress data that has already been shared with the Student’s Teacher(s). We may also share Student achievement data with 9 Dots’s co-teachers and teaching assistants in order to better facilitate and differentiate student learning in the classrooms that they support.

We may share limited information when you contact us for support. When you contact us with a question or issue, you may provide Personal Information, which is shared with 9 Dots employees in order to respond to your inquiry. 9 Dots employees use Personal Information only in the context of addressing your specific inquiry.

We may publish de-identified information about Student performance. However, we will never publicly disclose Personal Information in these reports. Data about Student performance will remain de-identified. De-identified data representing large populations of Students may be reported by demographic criteria such as age, general location, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

We may share de-identified data to improve our services and learn more about our Users. 9 Dots may work with third parties (such as universities and education research organizations) to improve our products and services. 9 Dots may share de-identified information with authorized partners in order to inform research efforts and gain insights into the usage of our content and services. We require any research partner that receives de-identified data from us to agree in advance that they will not attempt to use this data to identify our Users.

We will share data when required by law. 9 Dots may disclose User data including Personal Information or Persistent Identifiers if required to do so by law, or if we have a good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with local, state, federal, international, or other applicable laws or respond to a court order, judicial or other government order, subpoena, or warrant, or administrative request. In some cases, we may make such disclosures without first providing notice to Users, Teachers, schools, parents or legal guardians.

We may share data when necessary or appropriate to protect 9 Dots or others. 9 Dots may disclose User data including Personal Information or Persistent Identifiers that we believe, in good faith, is appropriate or necessary to: take precautions against liability; protect 9 Dots from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful uses; investigate and defend ourselves against any third-party claims or allegations; assist government enforcement agencies; protect the security or integrity of the Website; or protect the rights, property, or personal safety of 9 Dots, our Users, or others.

We may share data in the context of a change of business, including a merger or acquisition. In the event that 9 Dots is acquired by, combined or merged with another entity, we may transfer or assign the Personal Information and Persistent Identifiers that we have collected from Users as part of such merger, acquisition, sale, or other change of control. Our promise to you is that any Personal Information and Persistent Identifiers we have collected from Users would be safeguarded by the acquiring organization under the same level of safety and privacy as afforded by this Privacy Policy.

 

Our Approach to Data Security

To protect your privacy and security, we take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting you account access or making corrections to your Personal Information. If you have any questions about how we handle or protect your personal data, please contact us at help@9dots.org.

Our Website stores data via Google Cloud Firestore. Firestore automatically encrypts all data under the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard. This provides an extra layer of protection for all data stored in our database.

While we strive to maintain best industry-standard privacy and security practices, it should be noted that no system is fail proof. If we learn of a security breach that jeopardizes the Personal Information on our Website, we will attempt to notify you electronically so that you can take appropriate protective steps.

 

Conditions of Use and Notices

If you choose to visit our Website, your visit and any dispute over privacy is subject to this Privacy Policy, including limitations on damages, arbitration of disputes, application of the law of the State of California and venue for all disputes in Los Angeles, California.

If any provision of this Privacy Policy or our Terms of Service is held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this Privacy Policy will remain in full force and effect.

 

No Commercial Use of Student Data

California’s Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA) prohibits the gathering of the Personal Information of K-12 students for advertising or other non-educational purposes. 9 Dots abides by such laws and shall not to use, disclose, or compile any student Personal Information for the purpose of marketing or advertising commercial products or services.

 

You can review or delete your Personal Information at any time

We keep your personal data only as long as necessary or for the purposes for which it was collected or as required under any contract or by applicable law.

If, at any point, you wish to access, amend, erase, export, or object to or restrict the processing of Personal Information collected via our Website, send us a request at help@9dots.org We will promptly review all such requests in accordance with applicable laws.

 

Updates to our Privacy Policy

9 Dots may occasionally make amendments to the Privacy Policy when necessary. We will notify Users of any change to our Privacy Policy by posting the revised Privacy Policy with an updated date of revision on our Website. If significant changes are made, we will contact Users electronically to inform them of these changes. Your continued use of the Site following these changes means that you accept the revised Privacy Policy.

 

Contacting 9 Dots

Please contact 9 Dots with any questions or comments about this policy or the use of Personal Information by writing us at help@9dots.org or at 931 N. Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038.