The College Board, the organization behind SAT and Advanced Placement exams, has reportedly been found sharing student data including SAT scores and GPAs, with platforms like Facebook and China’s TikTok.
Gizmodo reports that for students seeking a higher education in the U.S., the College Board seems to be an important step in their journey. Responsible for the administration of the SAT test and Advanced Placement exams, which can earn high schoolers college credit, the organization has recently come under scrutiny for its data-sharing practices.
Recent investigations have unveiled that when students utilize specific tools on the College Board’s website, their SAT scores, GPA, and other pertinent data are relayed to social media behemoths like Facebook and TikTok. One such instance highlighted was when a user enters their GPA and SAT scores to search for potential colleges. The moment this data was inputted, both Facebook and TikTok were promptly informed.
The mechanism behind this data sharing is a technology known as “pixels.” These are invisible trackers predominantly used to enhance targeted advertising on platforms. The College Board’s initial response to these findings was a denial. A spokesperson for the organization stated, “We do not share SAT scores or GPAs with Facebook or TikTok, and any other third parties using pixel or cookies.” They further clarified that they don’t send any personally identifiable information (PII) through these pixels. However, when presented with evidence, the spokesperson acknowledged the data sharing but emphasized that the pixels were merely a tool to gauge the efficacy of their advertising.
This revelation has ignited concerns among privacy advocates. The crux of their argument is that organizations like the College Board, which handle sensitive data about students and minors, should adhere to a higher standard of data privacy. This sentiment is especially resonant given the College Board’s significant influence in the American education landscape.
Breitbart News has previously reported on Facebook’s invasive practices with its pixel technology grabbing private details. In August 2022, Breitbart reported on a lawsuit accusing Facebook of tracking sensitive patient details from healthcare organizations:
The lawsuits were filed in the Northern District of California in June and July and focused on Facebook’s Pixel tracking tool. The tool is installed on websites to track analytics on Facebook and Instagram ads. The pixel collects information about how people interact with websites and input information.
In early June, an investigation by the Markup found that 33 of the top 100 hospitals in the United States use the Facebook Pixel on their websites. The investigation found that the pixel tracking tool was installed on the password-protected patient portals of seven hospitals.