Many students are required to work with the College Board, the organization that administers the SAT test and Advanced Placement (AP) exams. However, there is a long history of privacy issues associated with the company. Gizmodo conducted tests and found that when users input their GPA and SAT scores on the College Board’s website, the organization shares this data with Facebook, TikTok, and other companies. This data sharing is done through “pixels,” invisible tracking technology used for targeted advertising. Despite the College Board’s denial of sharing personally identifiable information, screenshots provided to Gizmodo show that GPAs and SAT scores are indeed shared with TikTok using pixels.
This data sharing is a common practice on the internet, and many apps and websites engage in it. However, privacy advocates argue that the College Board and similar companies that handle data about students and minors should be held to a higher standard. The College Board has faced previous controversies regarding student privacy, including selling data about students without their consent. In the past, the College Board had committed to not using or disclosing student information for targeted advertising. However, it appears that they have removed references to this commitment from their website and are no longer listed as a signatory.
Despite these privacy concerns, the College Board holds significant power in the American education system. It is responsible for the SAT and AP exams, which play a crucial role in college applications and credit attainment. Moreover, the organization also has influence over curriculum development in some school districts. Although the College Board is a nonprofit, its top executives receive substantial compensation, with 14 out of 17 executives earning over $300,000 in 2021. The College Board has advertised on TikTok, but it is unclear whether these ads targeted students using data collected through pixels.
In summary, the College Board, responsible for the SAT and AP exams, has been found sharing student data with Facebook, TikTok, and other companies through invisible tracking technology called pixels. Despite denials from the College Board, evidence provided to Gizmodo shows that information like GPAs and SAT scores is indeed shared. Privacy advocates argue that organizations like the College Board should be held to higher standards, especially given their involvement with students and minors in the education system. The College Board has faced previous controversies related to student privacy, including selling data without consent. Despite its nonprofit status, the organization’s executives receive substantial compensation. It remains unclear whether TikTok’s ads by the College Board targeted students using the collected data.