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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mrs.FosterBMS

My School District just Blocked Duolingo!

I was informed today that our school district will not allow our students to use Duolingo due to child privacy policies. Specifically they stated that they sell student information to third party advertisers as well as compile personally identifiable information on our students. So, I am not allowed to assign or allow my student to use Duolingo with their school email address. I am sad because they have learned so much from this website. There is nothing posted that ensures that they are complying with the Children's Online Protection and Privacy Act.

January 23, 2020

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

Hopefully this will appease your school district:

If a child of under 13 years from outside the EU registers for the Duolingo service, upon registration the child will provide an adult’s e-mail address, to whom Duolingo sends a notification.

These child users will receive the following service restrictions:

  • Instead of any Personally Identifiable Information about the child, we will only store the e-mail address of their parent/guardian.
  • Only family friendly advertisements are shown and these ads do not do behavioral tracking.
  • Mature words such as "beer" and "wine" are disabled.
  • Social features are disabled, e.g. profiles, forums, clubs, etc.
  • They can not enter profile information such as a profile picture or a bio.

At the point when the user is known to have reached the age of 13, the account will automatically be transitioned to be a normal non-restricted account.

Source: https://www.duolingo.com/privacy
This link appears at the bottom of every Duolingo page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mrs.FosterBMS

Thank you. I will pass this along. Currently, they are using their school email addresses, so if they change to a parent email, I think that might be Ok for the school district.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

I hope it works out to be an acceptable solution for you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadameSensei

I can see the writing on the wall, fellow teachers, so I am beginning a collection of evidence right now to head this issue off at the pass. Thank you for posting your difficulties, Mrs. FosterBMS!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mrs.FosterBMS

I wish Duolingo would just conform to the child privacy act, and not collect and sell information on children to advertisers. There are lots of easy solutions to this from Duolingo's side of the street. Have your students register with a personal email that is not associated with your school and you should be OK.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mrs.FosterBMS

Yes, why won't they conform to the child privacy act??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadameSensei

I am curious, Mrs.FosterBMS and everyone else reading this: has your school district relaxed their rules for using Duolingo and such, now that we are remote learning (or potentially are, if your school district is still open)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MmeCottet

This issue does not seem to be going away. My district in New York State just pulled permission for me to use Duolingo with my students in the middle of remote learning due to student data and privacy concerns that don't appear to comply with a new New York State law. I have been trying to contact someone at Duolingo for weeks regarding this but have received zero response. I'm devastated. My students loved Duolingo and it was really helping many of them to pick up the language faster and easier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadameSensei

I'm posting this thread on the Educator's Network to get more eyeballs on it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mrs.FosterBMS

I hear you! I have not been able to use Duolingo with my students during remote learning. It is a great language-learning resource, and my school district will not allow me to use it. The only way- is if my students log in with a non-school email address. Then the school is not liable for ads or information that Duolingo sells to advertisers and third party companies. However, saying that, I am not permitted to "assign" Duolingo activities to my students because then I am violating the privacy laws in Ohio.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MmeCottet

I can't see why they don't even respond to any of this - they spent so much on marketing to classrooms but now it looks like they are out of compliance with multiple states' laws. This is a great resource and I was so excited with the updates they've been doing and the success my students had been having. We're a 1:1 district, but at this point, I don't think they will allow my students to keep using it even with their own addresses, which many don't have anyway.

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