Piazza is a collaborative question-and-answer platform that is “completely free” and can easily integrate into an institutional LMS, or in some cases replace the LMS. In our interviews for e-Literate TV, we have heard several glowing reviews about student engagement increasing thanks to the nature of the collaborative discussions. But in a case study of the aphorism that “if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product”, there are some significant privacy concerns around student data being sold, and several universities are pushing back.

The source of the dispute is not one of a vendor getting caught selling or sharing data behind the scenes, however. Piazza is quite open about their ongoing usage of student data to generate revenue – in their privacy policy, in their click-through terms of service, and throughout their web site. The source of the dispute is Piazza’s lenient interpretation of privacy concerns and their apparent unwillingness to comply with institutional policies or guidance on student data privacy.

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