About privacy and security for Apple products in education

At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right, so every Apple product is built from the ground up to protect personal information and to empower each customer to choose what they share and with whom. That’s why all our products, including those built for education, have privacy features and controls built in. We design our products to limit the collection and use of data, use on-device processing whenever possible, and provide transparency and control over how information is shared.

Use the links and information below to learn more about our apps and services for schools, learn how we protect student data, and find additional information and resources for schools and parents.

Apps and services for schools

Apple has developed powerful tools specifically for use in schools, to support IT administrators with their deployments, teachers with their classroom workflows, and to enable a personalized learning experience for every student.

  • Apple School Manager is a free web-based service that helps IT administrators deploy iPad and Mac in schools, create Managed Apple ID accounts for students and staff, set up class rosters for the Schoolwork and Classroom apps, enable the Student Progress feature and manage apps and books for teaching and learning. Apple School Manager forms the basis for Apple Education services and apps. 
  • Managed Apple ID accounts are created, owned, and controlled by schools to give students access to iCloud Drive, Photo Library, Backup, Schoolwork, and Shared iPad. Students can access their learning materials and the work they have created on any device. 
  • Shared iPad is a feature that enables multiple students to use the same iPad, while ensuring a personal learning experience and keeping each student's data separate and secure. 
  • Schoolwork allows teachers and students to share and receive instructional materials, review student progress, and provide instant feedback, empowering teachers to personalize instruction. Schoolwork provides a clear view on the progress students are making in their assignments, so the teacher is always aware of whether a student needs an extra challenge or extra help. And students have one place to see their assignments, submit their work, and view their own progress. 
  • Classroom enables teachers to manage student iPad devices and Mac computers in the classroom, helping them guide students through a lesson by opening apps and links for them. Teachers can easily send and receive documents with everyone in the class and keep an eye on the students’ work by viewing their screen.

The powerful productivity and creativity apps on iPad and Mac help students express themselves in unique ways.

  • Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are ideal for students and teachers to create beautiful reports and books, insightful spreadsheets, and stunning presentations. Students can work individually, or use real-time collaboration to work together on a project.
  • GarageBand, iMovie, and Clips allow students and teachers to compose music, edit documentary films, or record short video clips.
  • Swift Playgrounds on iPad makes getting started with Swift—our powerful programming language—fun and interactive. The comprehensive Everyone Can Code curriculum includes lessons on iPad and Mac, teacher guides, and apps to make it easy to teach coding, because we believe coding is an essential skill. Learning to code teaches students how to solve problems, work together in creative ways, and build apps that bring their ideas to life. 

Learn more about Apple products for education.

How we protect student data

We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right. We protect the privacy of all customers using our products. Where they take iPad, the websites they visit, and the apps they use—that’s personal information we don’t want and don’t need to provide great experiences. That’s why all our products, including those built for education, like Apple School Manager, Schoolwork, and Managed Apple IDs, have privacy features and controls built in. We don’t sell student information and we never share it with third parties to use for marketing or advertising. And we never build profiles based on students' email or web browsing.

Read the Privacy Overview for Parents

Student data associated with Apple apps and services for education

When schools use Apple School Manager to enable student access to services, Apple acts as a data processor on behalf of the school. Ownership and control of student data remains with the school.

Apple only receives and processes student data on behalf of the school, as directed by the school. And when schools trust us with their students' personal information, they can be sure it is going to be used for educational purposes only. We don't build profiles of students based on their online behavior, and we will never sell student information for any purpose.

Apple School Manager, Apple’s administrative portal for IT administrators, is built with student privacy in mind. For example, IT administrators can set up Managed Apple ID accounts and class rosters in Apple School Manager, importing only minimal data like student name and enrolled classes; other student information that the school may have in their student information system is not imported, unless the school specifically opts to do so.

Each Managed Apple ID created in Apple School Manager may have the following information associated with it, which can be viewed by the school in the account list or when an account is selected in Apple School Manager:

  • An alphanumeric ID unique to that account, first, middle, and last name, assigned school location, enrolled classes, role (e.g. student, teacher, administrator, etc.), data source (SIS import, manual creation, etc.), date created, date modified, grade level (if provided), and email address (if provided).
  • Learn more about Managed Apple IDs.

Schoolwork helps teachers share instructional materials and better understand student progress inside the apps and books they use with students. Schoolwork uses student and class roster information that IT administrators set up in Apple School Manager. A school can optionally enable the Student Progress feature in Apple School Manager, so that app developers can privately and securely share student progress data with teachers on activities, like reading a chapter in a book, completing a set of math equations, or taking a quiz, assigned in school managed environments. This data allows teachers as well as students to better understand learning progress on assigned activities and enables teachers to provide extension activities or extra help based on student needs.

Progress data shared with teachers depends on the type of data generated by the progress-reporting app, which is defined by the app developer and may include time spent on the activity based on start and end times, percentage completed, quiz scores, hints used, numeric values such as word count and points earned, or binary values such as Yes/No and True/False. At a minimum, every activity that supports progress reporting sends time spent data.

In addition to the Student Progress feature, your school’s IT administrator can enable the Improving Schoolwork feature in Apple School Manager. If enabled, Apple can process non-personally identifying Schoolwork data using techniques such as machine learning to improve the app. For example, Apple may process Schoolwork data to understand trends in usage, customize user experience, and develop new education features for the app. To ensure transparency, students and teachers will see an onscreen notification the first time they access Schoolwork using their Managed Apple ID after Improving Schoolwork is enabled. 

The Data and Privacy Overview for Schools provides additional details on how Apple handles student data and privacy for Managed Apple IDs and related education features.

Student data privacy protections

Apple products and services for education are built with the same integrated approach to privacy that is fundamental to the design of all Apple hardware, software, and services. We don't build profiles of students based on their online behavior, and we will never sell student information for any purpose. We use local processing whenever possible, and we use the minimal amount of data needed to enable our features and services. We provide transparency and control over how information is shared.

For example, when students see QuickType suggestions while typing a message to their teacher, this is enabled by on-device intelligence, and no data needs to be sent to our servers. When a teacher views a student screen in the Classroom app, or when a student completes an assignment with progress reporting in Schoolwork, the student sees a notification at the top of their screen to ensure transparency. And when students use their Managed Apple IDs to collaborate on Pages, Numbers, or Keynote documents, they can only work together with other users in their school. 

The Managed Apple IDs that students use at school to sign in to their devices, access learning materials, and use iCloud services are specifically designed to protect student privacy, including limitations on purchasing and communications. Individual App Store, Apple Books, Apple TV, Apple Podcasts, and Apple Music purchases are disabled, and learning materials and apps are distributed by the school. The school owns and controls student information, and can choose to enable or disable services such as Messages, FaceTime, or the Student Progress feature with Schoolwork.

Schoolwork was designed to protect student privacy. When a school enables the Student Progress feature in Apple School Manager, student progress data is shared only for activities a teacher specifically assigns as part of an assignment using Schoolwork, and only when students are using their Managed Apple ID, created for them by their school, on their device. Student progress on any activities that were not assigned will not be shared or displayed. For example, if a teacher assigns students to read the Prologue of Romeo and Juliet in Apple Books, and a student also reads The Great Gatsby, the student and the teacher will see progress data only on the Prologue because that was the assigned reading. To ensure transparency when progress reporting is active, students will see a notification indicating that their progress is being reported.

On the App Store, Apple requires app developers to agree to specific guidelines that are designed to protect user privacy and security. We have placed additional requirements on all developers adopting our framework for student progress reporting with Schoolwork, called ClassKit. In addition to our standard requirements for publishing an app on the App Store, we require that developers adopt ClassKit only if their use of ClassKit is designed to provide educational services. They must not serve behavioral advertising, and they must also provide a suitable privacy policy covering all of their personal information use. 

Read more about Apple's commitment to your privacy.

The Data and Privacy Overview for Schools provides additional details on how Apple handles student data and privacy for Managed Apple IDs and related education features.

The Parent Guide to Privacy can help parents and guardians understand how Apple helps protect the privacy of student information.

The Apple School Manager Agreement lays out the terms and conditions regarding the processing of student information, including data privacy provisions specific to education customers. 

Student data security protections

All student data sent by the school to Apple is encrypted at rest and in transit.

Files stored on iPad or Mac, for example notes, documents, or creative projects, are secured by encryption. Encryption is enabled automatically on iPad, where a unique encryption key is generated from the user's passcode to protect data at the file-level with AES 256-bit encryption. On Mac, encryption can be enabled with FileVault.

iCloud, Apple's cloud service, secures the user's information by encrypting it when it's in-transit, storing it in an encrypted format, and securing their encryption keys in Apple data centers. When processing data stored in third-party data centers, such as Amazon Web Services, encryption keys are accessed only by Apple software running on secure servers, and only while conducting the necessary processing. For additional privacy and security, many Apple services use end-to-end encryption, which means that only the user can access their information, and only on trusted devices where the user is signed in with their Apple ID.

Learn more about iCloud security and privacy.

Student data storage and retention

Apple stores data from Apple School Manager, Managed Apple IDs, Schoolwork, and iCloud in secure data centers which are subject to strict data storage standards and requirements. We maintain certifications in compliance with the widely recognized, internationally accepted ISO 27001 standard for cloud infrastructure and systems, as well as the ISO 27018 standard for protection of personally identifiable information (PII) in public cloud services. Learn more about Apple internet services certifications.

Authorized school officials can create and delete Managed Apple IDs in Apple School Manager as necessary, and all information associated with deleted accounts will be deleted from Apple’s servers within 30 days.

Student progress data received by Schoolwork is stored until a student leaves a class, according to the class roster in Apple School Manager. When a student leaves a class, data from that class is deleted. A parent can also ask the school to disable progress reporting in Schoolwork for their child, in which case previously reported data for all classes will be deleted. Data deleted by the school in such way will be deleted from Apple's servers within 30 days.

And when a school wishes to cease to use Apple School Manager, all relevant student data will be deleted within a maximum of 180 days.

Location data controls

Apple provides users granular control over how location data is managed and shared with apps and cloud services. Location Services are turned off by default, but can be turned on by the student if allowed by the school. 

Apple's built-in apps, such as Maps, Weather, or Camera, also need to request permission to gather and use data that indicates location. The location data collected by Apple is collected in a form that does not personally identify the student. Other apps made available by the school also need to request permission to access location data. Students, like all our customers, can approve and revoke access for each app that asks to use the service.

Every time an app on iPad is using Location Services, an arrow icon appears in the menu bar to inform the user that their location is being shared. 

A user's location is not routinely available to the school through Apple's features and services. However, Location Services can be used to help a school recover a lost or stolen device. On a school device, an MDM administrator can remotely enable Lost Mode. When Lost Mode is enabled, the current user is logged out and the device cannot be unlocked. The screen displays a message that the administrator can customize, such as displaying a phone number to call if the device is found. When the device is put into Lost Mode, the administrator can request the device to send its current location back to the MDM server. When an administrator turns off Lost Mode for a device, the device location will be sent and the user informed of this action. 

Access to student data from Apple apps and services

Apple School Manager allows for fine-grained access controls, where different individuals can be granted different privileges based on their role (such as student, teacher, manager, and IT administrator). The school's authorized IT administrators and managers can create new accounts, define roles and permissions, and see information such as name and enrolled classes for existing accounts. They can also reset passwords and audit accounts when necessary.

Managed Apple IDs support the ability for authorized school personnel to conduct an audit of a student account at the school’s discretion. This feature maintains a strict protocol that logs all audits. It works by granting an IT administrator, a manager, or a teacher auditing privileges in Apple School Manager, Apple’s IT portal. Auditing permissions expire after eight hours. During the audit period, the auditor can access the user’s content stored in iCloud or in apps that store data in iCloud. The auditor can also view progress data received by Schoolwork. When an account is audited by the school, the action is recorded and time-stamped with the auditor’s credentials, visible to IT administrators and managers in Apple School Manager. If necessary, parents may coordinate with their school administration to audit their student’s account.

In Schoolwork, only the student and those teachers who are listed as instructors of a course that a student is enrolled in—according to the school’s Apple School Manager roster data — will have access to student progress data, and only if the school has enabled the Student Progress feature in Apple School Manager. Each student has access only to their own data, and each teacher has access only to student progress data on activities assigned for the specific class they teach. 

With Classroom, student iPad and Mac devices can be managed in class, remotely, or a hybrid of both. When using Classroom in-person, the teacher and students need to be in close proximity, signed on to the same Wi-Fi network, and in an active class session. When using Classroom remotely, the teacher and students must be signed into their devices with Managed Apple IDs and the student must allow an incoming request from the teacher to join an active class session. A teacher can only manage and view student screens when students are in an active class session. No data is stored after an in-class or remote session ends. To ensure transparency when Screen View is active for a student’s screen, a notification at the top of their screen indicates that the screen is being viewed. A student may access details of the specific teacher viewing their screen in Settings on their iPad or Mac. Schools can also choose to disable Screen View if they prefer that teachers not view student screens.

Parent choice to opt out of student progress reporting for their child

A parent can ask the school to disable the Student Progress feature for their student across all their classes. Any previously collected data for that student will be deleted. The student can still participate in activities assigned with Schoolwork if desired, but their progress will not be reported.

Limits on advertising

Apple's Education apps, such as Classroom and Schoolwork, do not contain any ads. And the same is true for our creativity and productivity apps, such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Clips, iMovie, and GarageBand.

Apple's “Limit Ad Tracking” control is enabled for all Managed Apple IDs. This ensures that while students using Managed Apple IDs may see contextual ads while browsing Apple News or the App Store, advertising is never targeted using their information.

Apps in the Kids Category of the App Store and apps that use ClassKit to report student progress in Schoolwork are prohibited from serving behavioral advertisements to students.

Legal agreements between the school, Apple, and app developers regarding the collection and storage of student information

The Apple School Manager Agreement lays out the terms for collection and storage of student information by Apple, including data privacy provisions specific to education customers. According to the agreement, Apple acts as a data processor with respect to the data that is created in Apple School Manager and Schoolwork. 

While Apple has strict developer guidelines for apps, schools should evaluate any apps considered for classroom use with respect to their privacy policy to ensure compliance with the school's policies and legal obligations.

On the App Store, Apple requires app developers to agree to specific guidelines that are designed to protect user privacy and security. We have placed additional requirements on all developers adopting our ClassKit framework for student progress reporting. In addition to our standard requirements for publishing an app on the App Store, we require that developers adopt ClassKit only if their use of ClassKit is designed to provide educational services. They must not serve behavioral advertising in the app, and they must also provide a suitable privacy policy of all of their personal information use.

While any app used by the school may generate student progress data such as quiz scores, or reading progress, the data is only shared with Apple by apps that have adopted ClassKit and only for schools that have explicitly enabled the Student Progress feature for their school. 

Disclosure of student data to third parties

Apple will never sell student information and we never share it with third parties to use for marketing or advertising. We never build profiles of students based on their online behavior, and we don’t collect, use, or disclose student information other than to provide relevant educational services. 

Apps that report student progress with Schoolwork do not gain access to student personal information from Apple. Progress data that is generated by the progress-reporting app, like answers to quiz questions, or progress made reading a chapter in a book, can only be shared with Schoolwork for assigned activities using our ClassKit framework, and only if the Student Progress feature is enabled by the school. However, independent of student progress reporting in Schoolwork, schools may choose to provide student information to a developer to set up student accounts for access to certain apps. 

Student privacy law compliance

Schools can use Apple features and services for education in compliance with their obligations under COPPA and FERPA in the United States, and other applicable data privacy laws in those jurisdictions in which Apple School Manager is available. 

Managed Apple ID accounts can request a copy of their data if enabled to do so by their organization in Apple School Manager. Learn more.

Apple stores data from Apple School Manager, Managed Apple IDs, Schoolwork, and iCloud in secure data centers which are subject to strict data storage standards and requirements. We maintain certifications in compliance with the ISO 27001 and 27018 standards over key in-scope systems supporting Apple’s Education offerings.

To further underscore its commitment to privacy, Apple has signed the Student Privacy Pledge introduced by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

Additional information for schools and parents

Learn more about additional resources from Apple and other organizations.

Student device management for schools

To support the learning environment and keep students focused on learning, schools can use mobile device management (MDM) software for school-owned devices, as well as student-owned devices brought to school. MDM makes it easy for school administrators to configure device settings and policies for network access, safe web content, software updates, and more, as well as distribute the apps and books that students use for their learning.

This way, the school can ensure that devices are configured for the best learning experience, safe to use, and free from distractions by apps and webpages the school does not approve. 

If your school owns your student’s device, settings, restrictions, and apps for iPad and Mac can be configured with MDM software or with Apple Configurator, and devices can be supervised so the settings cannot be removed. If your student brings their own device to school, they must opt in to the school’s management software before their device can be managed. In this case, since the school does not own the device, MDM device settings can be removed by a student or parent at any time.

Evaluating the privacy and safety of apps for the classroom

When selecting apps for use at school, in addition to the educational value, it is important for schools to evaluate how an app that is being considered for classroom use handles student data.

Any app that is considered should have a privacy policy that transparently outlines in plain language how the developer handles the following aspects:

  • A description of the types of data collected, and ideally any measures used to minimize the collection of data. For example, a whiteboarding app may not need access to a user’s location, while a mapping app does.
  • Will any data be stored outside the country or region of origin? How does the developer ensure that data centers are secure and prevent data breaches? 
  • Is some or all data encrypted while stored? Is data transferred using encrypted methods like HTTPS as required in Apple’s App Transport Security?
  • Does the developer use data only for the app’s explicit educational purpose (e.g. not for advertising or building of profiles)?
  • Does the developer share data with any third parties? For what purpose?
  • Has the developer signed the Student Privacy Pledge?

School resources to communicate privacy and security practices with parents

Apple has developed a Communication Kit to help school leaders communicate with their entire learning community about their learning initiative with Apple. The kit includes templates for a customizable Keynote presentation that school leaders can use during meetings with parents or the board to tell the story of their initiative, from their vision for learning with technology, to planning and execution, and their strategies for keeping students safe as they use technology. 

Schools can also distribute the Parent Guide to Privacy to help parents and guardians understand how Apple helps protect the privacy of student information.

Parents' options to configure iPad and Mac for their child

Parents can use restrictions, also known as parental controls, to block or limit specific apps and features on their children's devices. For example, parents can restrict content like movies or music according to age ratings, block certain apps or webpages, and restrict sharing of private data such as their child's location. 

Schools often use configuration profiles, which can turn on similar restrictions according to the school's technology policy. To find out if your device has a profile, go to Settings > General > Profiles. Contact your administrator or the person who set up the profile for more information.

Read more about the tools we provide to help parents choose what their kids can do with their devices on our Families page.

Resources to help children become good digital citizens

Many resources are available to help students become good digital citizens and to guide schools and parents. For example, Common Sense Media has materials for parents as well as for schools. Parents and their students should also review their school’s technology policy regarding acceptable use, email, storing and charging devices, accessing content and apps, and more. 

At an Apple Store, you can attend free sessions for children and parents as part of the Today at Apple program.

Common Sense Media provides a Digital Citizenship Program for schools.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

Published Date: