The College Board appears to be in violation of its own policies on protecting the privacy of college students, Consumer Reports found in an investigation.
The College Board is sending personally identifiable student information to major technology companies and ad platforms including Adobe, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Snapchat, and Yahoo, according to researchers at Consumer Reports’ Digital Lab.
“College-bound students don’t have any choice but to transact with the College Board – which is what makes these findings so concerning,” said Ben Moskowitz, director of the Digital Lab at Consumer Reports.
Moskowitz said because of its mission and its importance in the college admissions process, it’s critical that the College Board meet a high privacy standard, communicate clearly with its users, and limit the user data it shares with third parties for advertising purposes.
The College Board is a non-profit company that owns and operates the SAT test. It also administers the Advanced Placement exam, which high school students can take to earn college credit and strengthen applications. In some states, the SAT is required for high school graduation.
For millions of students, the College Board is an unavoidable gatekeeper on the path to higher education, he said.
After contacting the College Board with the Digital Lab’s findings, it made some updates to its site, but the underlying problem found in the investigation remains, Moskowitz said.