PayGrade Privacy Policy

At PayGrade, student privacy and security are our top priorities

Last Updated: April 25, 2020

1. What is COPPA ?

COPPA is the acronym for Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) – created and put into effect on April 21, 2000. This act applies to students under the age of 13 in the US (or the minority age in other jurisdictions) to protect their personal information. A website operator must include in a privacy policy (“Privacy policy”) when and how to seek parental consent and what responsibilities the website operator, such as PayGrade has to protect its students’ privacy and safety online.

2. How PayGrade Complies with COPPA

To comply with COPPA, PayGrade does the following:

3. Privacy Policy Overview

PayGrade takes student privacy seriously; that is why we collect only the minimal amount of information from a student to provide the Service – just a first name, username, and password. We do not ask for other information, such as gender, SSN, email, address, student ID, or age.

Below, we give an overview of the website, its educational function, and how we protect and secure student privacy.

“Personal information” is any information you provide to us that personally identifies you, such as your name or email address, or other information that could be linked to such identifying information by us. We will only collect, use, and share your personal information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

This Privacy Policy applies whether you use PayGrade through https://paygrade.io, our mobile application, or any of our other products or services that link to this Privacy Policy (collectively, the “Service”).

Moreover, this Privacy Policy covers PayGrade’s treatment of any personal information about our users that teachers or other services might share with us.

This Privacy Policy does not apply to websites or services or practices of companies that PayGrade doesn’t own or control, such as third party services you might access through links or other features (e.g., social media buttons, lesson plan resources, etc.) on our website. These other services have their own privacy policies, and we encourage you to review them before providing them with personal information.

Please take the time to get to know our privacy practices. If you have any questions, you can email us at support@paygrade.io, and we will respond as soon as reasonably possible.

By using the Service, you acknowledge that you accept and agree to this Privacy Policy. If you do not accept this Privacy Policy, you may not use the Service.

4. What is PayGrade?

PayGrade is an education software platform that allows teachers to manage their classroom while teaching essential finance skills to students. Students create a profile under a secure teacher’s account that they can log in to, set up a profile picture (the student’s teacher is prompted to approve the photo taken by the student before it can be shared with other students), and resume. Students then manage virtual (not real) checking, savings, and credit accounts. Students pay bills, purchase assets, and learn the advantages of saving. Teachers can use PayGrade to help incentivize behaviors they want to see in the classroom like completing work and showing the school’s norms through deposit and withdrawals, called Action Items. Teachers can also teach essential financial literacy skills through the use of PayGrade and its functions. Students have access to see, but not alter in any way, other students’ profile pictures, resumes, and personal account information. Students can see other students in their class, a news log of virtual deposits and withdrawals made each day, a leaderboard to see the virtual net worth and ranking of students, their virtual bills and virtual assets, the teacher approved profile pictures and student created resumes of that teacher’s class.

When students set up a PayGrade account, they input their first name and then create a unique username and password. We do not ask students to enter any other personal information when setting up an account. If a student’s school or teacher wants to use any of the data created by a student such as their resume or transaction history, the school will be responsible for obtaining any necessary parental consent under COPPA.

School administration or other decision-makers in the school may choose to purchase a school account in PayGrade. This allows the administration access to teacher and student accounts to add, edit, or delete student accounts transactions (deposits and withdrawals).

5. What Information does PayGrade Collect from students?

PayGrade collects the minimal amount of information from students necessary to create accounts on our Service: we ask students to provide a unique username, a first name, a password, and the unique code (similar to Google Classrooms) they have been given by their teacher to connect with a classroom. We also collect some information automatically through some tools or software. We will not use or ask for parent or students’ email addresses and have no intention of spamming or marketing to anyone. We do not ask students to enter any other personal information when setting up an account. See below for more information regarding the information we collect:

  1. Information users provide to us There are currently three categories of users on our Service: schools, students, and teachers. We described the information collected from the students above. For other users (schools and teachers), we collect and store the following types of information from each type of user:
    • Account Sign-up and Profile Information: To create a PayGrade account as a school, you may be asked to provide some basic information such as your first name, last name, school, location, username, and password. Schools may view teachers in that school’s account; however, no teacher or student profile is made available or visible to the general public through the functionality of our Service. If you create a PayGrade account as a student, you will be asked to enter the code (similar to Google Classroom) you have been given by your teacher (students are unable to sign up for the Service without this), along with a name, unique username, and password. Teachers may also give a letter of consent to use PayGrade located here. We do not ask students to enter any other personal information to create their student accounts. If you are a teacher, the only information we ask for is a first name, last name, school name, email, location, and how you heard about PayGrade.
    • School Information and Collaboration Features: If you are a teacher, as part of the profile information you provide, you may choose to associate your account with a school account or may enter a new school name, location, and how you heard about PayGrade. By connecting you with your school, the Service may enable and provide additional collaboration features for teachers and school leaders within the same school, such as depositing and withdrawing different action items (incentivized behaviors) for students in different classes such as specials teachers.
    • Class Information: As a teacher, you can enter the class grade and the names of the students in your class. If teachers need help with their account, they can contact the staff at PayGrade to access their account and help with training, which allows the staff to see some class information like a students’ name, grade, net worth, and virtual bank account amounts. However, none of the PayGrade staff is permitted to share any of the information outside of the PayGrade staff that they see when aiding a teacher in using the software.
    • Deposits and Withdrawals: As a teacher or school, you can customize a list of incentivized behaviors in the form of deposits or withdrawals that you want to encourage or recognize in student actions. These transactions can be seen and edited by the teacher or the banker job- a student in the class with access to editing and assigning bills to students in their individual class.
    • Contact Information: When you choose to provide us with your personal information through the Service in some other manner (e.g., when you send us an email asking a question, submit a support request through Google Forms, participate in a written or video testimonial about our Service, or choose to participate in any research efforts with PayGrade to improve the Service), we will store your contact information on Insightly (a third party service provider). This applies only to teachers or school managing an account with us as we do not collect any contact information from students.
  2. Information PayGrade automatically collects Like most web-based services, we may automatically receive and log information on our server logs from your browser or your device when you use the Service. For example, this could include the frequency and duration of your visits to PayGrade on Google Analytics. If we combine any automatically-collected information with personal information, we will treat the combined information as personal information, and it will be protected as per this Privacy Policy. The technologies and information we automatically collect include:
    • Cookies and other similar technologies: Cookies are tiny pieces of data that are attached to your browser – to track certain preferences about your online behavior. We may use various technologies to collect and store information when you visit our Service, including through cookies and Google Analytics. Like many services, PayGrade uses these technologies to tailor the Service for you and improve your user experience. See our Cookie Policy for more information regarding cookies and other similar technologies.
    • Device information: We collect device-specific information such as your operating system, hardware version, device settings, file and software names and types, battery and signal strength, and device identifiers. This helps us measure how the Service is performing and improve PayGrade for you on your particular device.
    • Log information: Like most online services, when you use our Service, we automatically collect and store certain information in our server logs. Examples include things like: (i) Details of how you used our service, such as your activity on the Service, and the frequency and duration of your visits to the PayGrade Website or PayGrade App; (ii) SMS routing information; (iii) IP Address; and (iv) Device event information such as crashes, system activity, hardware settings, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request, and referral URL. This information helps us make decisions about what we should work on next or improve upon on PayGrade.
    • Location information: When you use our Service, we may collect and process information about your geographic location, for example, through GPS, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi signals on Google Analytics. We collect both coarse (i.e., city-level) location data and precise location data. If we collect precise geolocation information (“precise” meaning sufficient to identify street name and name of city or town) from you (such as when a teacher is searching for a school), we ask for your explicit opt-in permission. We do not collect precise geolocation data from students. We will not store or track your device location on an ongoing basis or without your permission. We do not share precise geolocation data with third parties other than our service providers as necessary to provide the Service.

6. How does PayGrade use the Information it Collects?

PayGrade does not sell or rent any of you, or your student’s personal information to any third party for any purpose, including for advertising or marketing purposes. Targeted advertising is not permitted on PayGrade. We only use the information you provide us to:

7. Photos and Videos (User Content)

When students create an account, they are able to upload a picture of themselves. This photo is sent to be approved by the teacher prior to the class being able to see it. If we discover that we have collected information from a student in a manner that is inconsistent with COPPA, we will take appropriate steps to either delete the information or immediately seek the parent’s consent for that collection. We do not disclose any personal information about students to third parties, except to service providers when necessary to provide the Service, as required by law or to protect the security of the Service or other users. Information collected from students (including personal information and information collected automatically) is never used or disclosed for third party advertising or for any first- or third-party targeted advertising, and student’s personal information is never sold or rented to anyone, including to marketers, advertisers, banks, or other financial institutions. If a teacher chooses to set up their students’ accounts, he or she can choose to provide full names for students (e.g., first name and last name) when setting up their class; they can also opt to only provide non-identifying information (e.g., just first name, only initials, or even just seat numbers).

8. What Student’s Information is Visible to Others?

The student’s profile, picture, and resume are never made available or visible to the public through PayGrade. Teachers may share their classroom profiles with other teachers and administrators in the building, but without a media release and/or written permission from a legal guardian, students’ information is not available to use for any reason outside of the school. In addition, students can see each other’s profile pictures, resume, classroom jobs, net worth, net currency, and transactions through the news log and class ranking. This is similar to how a teacher might display classroom jobs, behavior charts, and progress toward a specific goal around the classroom. The only other time student information or teacher information is visible to others is when the teacher contacts PayGrade to assist in setting up, managing, navigating, editing, or deleting their account. PayGrade staff will also periodically access teacher accounts to see if they are using the account and send follow up emails with how to better use the software but they will not change, alter, or delete any information unless asked to do so by the teacher.

9. Will PayGrade share any information it collects?

PayGrade will not share or disclose any information about teachers, schools, and students unless under the below circumstances. And even if we share information under these circumstances, it will be in line with this Privacy Policy and the COPPA law.

  1. Other Users You Share and Communicate with on PayGrade: No teacher, administrator, parent, or student profiles are made available to the general public through our Service. Please keep in mind that information (including personal information or student's personal information) or content that you voluntarily disclose to others, including to other PayGrade users you interact with through the Service (such as messages you might send other users or other teachers and administration you collaborate with), can be viewed, copied, stored, and used by the people you share it with. We cannot control the actions of people with whom you choose to share information.
  2. PayGrade Staff/Employees: If teachers need help with their accounts, they can contact the staff at PayGrade to access their accounts and help with training, editing, deleting, or adding information to the account. When the PayGrade staff accesses the teacher’s account, they can see the class information like a students’ names, grades, net worth, virtual bank account amounts, etc. However, none of the PayGrade staff is permitted to share any of the information outside of helping the teacher in using the software to its fullest extent.
  3. Third-party integrations on our Service: When, as a teacher or administrator, you use third-party apps, websites, or other services that use, or are integrated with our Service, they may receive information about what you post or share. For example, when you invite others via Facebook or Twitter, these services receive the information that you share through this functionality and information that you are sharing from PayGrade. Information collected by these apps, websites, or integrated services is subject to their own terms of use and other policies.
  4. Third Party Service Providers: Targeted advertising is not permitted on PayGrade. We do work with vendors, service providers, and other partners to help us provide the Service by performing tasks on our behalf. We may need to share or provide information (including personal information) to them to help them perform these business functions. For example, sending emails on our behalf, database management services, database hosting, data analytics, providing customer support software, and security. These service providers do not have the right to use any personal information we share with them beyond what is necessary to assist us. Additionally, these service providers must adhere to confidentiality and security obligations in a way that is consistent with this Privacy Policy.
  5. Testimonials: We post testimonials on our Service which may contain personal information such as the name, photo, and/or a video of the individual in the testimonial. We obtain the individual’s consent in advance to ensure we have permission to post this content publicly. To request removal of your personal information from our testimonials, please contact us at support@paygade.io.
  6. Aggregated Information and Non-Identifying Information: We may share aggregated, non-personally identifiable information publicly, including with users, partners, or the press in order to, for example, demonstrate how PayGrade is used, spot industry trends, or to provide marketing materials for PayGrade. Any aggregated information shared this way will not contain any personal information.
  7. Legal Requirements: We may disclose personal information if we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to comply with the law, such as complying with a subpoena or other legal process. We may need to disclose personal information where, in good faith, we think it is necessary to protect the rights, property, or safety of PayGrade, our employees, our community, or other users, or to prevent violations of our Terms of Use or other agreements. This includes, without limitation, exchanging information with other companies and organizations for fraud protection or responding to government requests or summonses.
  8. Sharing with PayGrade Companies: Over time, PayGrade may grow and reorganize. We may share your personal information with affiliates such as a parent company, subsidiaries, joint venture partners, or other companies that we control or that are under common control with us, in which case we will require those companies to agree to use your personal information in a way that is consistent with this Privacy Policy.
  9. Change of control: In the event that all or a portion of PayGrade or its assets are acquired by or merged with a third party, personal information that we have collected from users would be one of the assets transferred to or acquired by that third party. This Privacy Policy will continue to apply to your information, and any acquirer would only be able to handle your personal information as per this Privacy Policy (unless you give consent to a new policy). We will provide you with notice of an acquisition within thirty (30) days following the completion of such a transaction, by posting on our homepage or by email to your email address that you provided to us. If you do not consent to the use of your personal information by such a successor company, you may request its deletion from the company. In the event that PayGrade goes out of business, or files for bankruptcy, we will protect your personal information, and will not sell it to any third party.
  10. With your consent: Other than the cases above, we will not disclose your personal information for any purpose unless you consent to it. Additionally, as discussed above, we will never sell or rent your personal information to advertisers or other third parties.

10. How does PayGrade Protect and Secure your Information?

Your PayGrade account is protected by a password. You can help us protect against unauthorized access to your account by keeping your password secret and confidential at all times. The security of your personal information is important to us. We work hard to protect our community, and we maintain administrative, technical, and physical safeguards designed to protect against unauthorized use, disclosure, or access to personal information. We make every effort to maintain the security of personal information, and we work hard to ensure the integrity and security of our systems; however, no practices are 100% immune, and we cannot guarantee the security of information at all times. Outages, attacks, human error, system failure, unauthorized use, or other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time. If we learn of a security breach, we will attempt to notify you electronically (subject to any applicable laws) so that you can take appropriate protective steps. For example, we may post a notice on our homepage (www.paygrade.io) or elsewhere on the Service. Depending on where you live, you may have a legal right to receive notice of a security breach in writing.

11. Can I opt-out of providing information?

You can always decline to share personal information with us, or even block all cookies. However, it is important to remember that many of PayGrade’s features may not be accessible or function properly.

12. How can I access and manage my personal information?

PayGrade aims to provide you with easy access to any personal information we have collected about you. If that information is incorrect, we give you easy ways to update it, or to delete it, unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business (e.g., we need at least an email address for your account) or legal purposes. Upon request, PayGrade will provide you with information about whether we hold any of your personal information, and if you are a user of PayGrade, you may request access to all your personal information we have on file by contacting us at support@paygade.io. In some cases, we will not be able to guarantee complete access due to legal restrictions. For example, you will not be allowed to access files that contain information about other users or information that is confidential to us. We may not be able to fulfill requests that are unreasonably repetitive, require disproportionate technical effort, or would be extremely impractical.

13. How can I delete my account?

You can delete your account at any time by contacting us at support@paygade.io. If you are a school, teacher, or student, you can delete your account anytime by logging into your account and deleting your profile from the profile options. When you delete your account, we delete your profile information and any other content you provide in your profile (such as your name, username, password, email address, and profile photo).

14. Parental Choices

If you are the parent or legal guardian of a student who has created a PayGrade account and you do not want your student to have a PayGrade account, talk to your teacher about alternatives or to have him/her delete your child’s account and/or email us at support@paygade.io.

15. How Long Does PayGrade Keep Student Information?

We only keep a student’s personal information for as long as his or her student account is active for the school year – unless we are required by law to retain it, need it to ensure the security of our community or our Service, or to enforce our Terms of Use. More specifically, PayGrade operates a 3-tier student data protection policy to protect all students’ information (3-Tier Student Data Protection Policy):

  1. Minimal information: As mentioned before, PayGrade collects the minimal amount of information from students necessary to create accounts on our Service: we ask students to provide just the unique student code given by their teacher, a username, a name, and a password.
  2. One-year deletion policy for account profiles and transaction history: To protect students, PayGrade sets limits on how long students account profiles and transaction history is retained. Teachers can also delete students individually or the entire class by entering their password.
  3. Deleting inactive accounts: If a student’s account is not in use for twelve months or more (meaning there have been no logins), PayGrade will automatically delete the student account, including all personal information about that student.
Teachers also have the ability to delete their students from their account by logging into their account and then typing in their password to confirm that they would like to delete all of their students. PayGrade strongly encourages teachers to delete all student data at the end of their time with that student to help protect student data.

16. How long does PayGrade keep information about Teacher/School?

We store your personal information for as long as it is necessary to provide products and Services to you and others, including those described above. Personal information associated with your account will be kept until your account is deleted. Please note that we may have to retain some information after your account is closed, to comply with legal obligations, to protect the safety and security of our community or our Service, or to prevent the abuse of our Terms of Use. You can, of course, delete your account at any time, as stated above.

17. Social Media Plugins/Widgets

The Service may now or in the future include social media plugins, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. These social media plugins may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our site, and may set a cookie to enable the plugin to function properly. Social media plugins and widgets are either hosted by third parties or hosted directly on our website. Your interactions with these social media plugins are governed by the privacy policy of the company providing each social media plugin.

18. How will PayGrade Notify me of changes to this policy?

We may occasionally update this Privacy Policy. You can see when the last update was by looking at the “Last Updated” date at the top of this page. We will not reduce your rights under this Privacy Policy without your explicit consent. If we make any significant changes, we will provide prominent notice by posting a notice on the Service. We encourage you to review this Privacy Policy from time to time to stay informed about our collection, use, and disclosure of personal information through the Service. If you do not agree with any changes to the Privacy Policy, you may terminate your account by contacting us at support@paygade.io. By continuing to use the Service after the revised Privacy Policy has become effective, you acknowledge that you accept and agree to the current version of the Privacy Policy.