On the Facebook wall for this application one Ian Stiles notes that "The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is designed to protect students, not deny them the right to share educational information for certain benefits."
- They also state that "When you update information, we usually keep a back-up copy of the prior version for a reasonable period of time to enable reversion to the prior version". There is no indication of what reasonable means, or for whom they need to revert this information.
- "You post content on the site at your own risk." Clearly we can track interactions on Blackboard but not on this Facebook app. The validity of those interactions and their nature, alongside the verification of other users who may be able to see and use that information, including course content that is the IPR of the institution or a third-party, is a huge issue.
- They are up-front about tracking usage of the site by individual users, and link this to advertising and anonymous reporting.
- ClassTop intimate that "By providing CourseFeed with login information to courses on your school's learning management system, such as Blackboard(r), you grant CourseFeed permission to notify your classmates of availability of CourseFeed on Facebook and retrieve all course related information and content such as but not limited to files, folders, assignments, announcements, personal contact information, course roster information, grades, and calendar entries for the purpose of displaying and notifying you and classmates of online course activity through the CourseFeed interface and/or email." This appears to threaten the integrity of other classmate's data, and the institution's content. Whilst they note that "We recognize the sensitive nature of course related information and content and will maintain the same level of privacy and separation currently implemented by your school's learning management system. For example, just like in your current learning management system only you will be able to see your grades", do students have the right to share data that isn't their ow? Shouldn't ClassTop have an agreement to safeguard IPR, copyright and personal data with the institution?
- Finally. the policy talks about allowing ClassTop staff to come into contact with user's personal data to facilitate their work, and that they have safeguards to protect information. However, other than basic information about a secure server and a firewall, the policy is silent on what these safeguards actually are.