College Board Leaks SAT GPAs to Facebook and TikTok

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College Board’s Data Sharing Practices Questioned

The College Board, the administrator of the SAT test and Advanced Placement exams, has been found sharing student data with social media giants Facebook and TikTok, raising potential privacy concerns.

Overstepping Boundaries in Data Sharing

A recent investigation by Gizmodo uncovered that when a user enters their GPA and SAT scores into the College Board’s website search tools, this information is shared with Facebook and TikTok. The data is shared using “pixels,” a tracking technology used to facilitate targeted advertising. This practice includes sharing unique user IDs and other user activity information on the College Board’s site.

While the College Board initially denied sharing SAT scores or GPAs, Gizmodo’s screenshot evidence led to an admission that the organization does share GPA data and SAT score ranges used in student searches.

The Question of Anonymity

The College Board insists that no personally identifiable information (PII) is shared. While the tests conducted by Gizmodo confirmed that names or phone numbers were not shared, the use of pixels and cookies typically includes unique strings of letters and numbers intended to identify and track users. For years, experts have warned that this practice poses privacy risks and is not truly anonymous.

Higher Standards for Student Data

The data-sharing practice is common on the internet, but many privacy advocates argue that organizations handling student and minor data should be held to higher standards, particularly when such services are virtually mandatory in the American education system.

The College Board has previously faced scrutiny for its data privacy practices. In 2018 and 2019, the organization was caught selling student data, including SAT test taker names. In 2020, the College Board was found to share user activity data on its website with Google, Facebook, and other companies, violating its own "Student Privacy Pledge."

A Powerful Non-profit with Profitable Executives

Despite being a non-profit, the College Board has been profitable for its executives. In 2021, 14 out of 17 executives earned more than $300,000, with CEO David Coleman and President Jeremy Singer collectively making $1,782,254.


While the College Board insists on its commitment to transparency and student success, its data-sharing practices suggest a need for greater scrutiny and stricter privacy standards. The organization’s role in the American education system makes it nearly unavoidable for students, making its data privacy practices especially significant. As students increasingly engage with such platforms, the importance of protecting their privacy becomes even more critical.

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