New, Easy to Read Legal Policies Reflect Handshake’s Commitment to Student Data Privacy

Posted May 12, 2017 by Garrett Lord

Our previous blogpost, A Network of Trust and Opportunity articulated Handshake’s stance on data privacy. Frankly, our old TOS and Privacy Policy weren’t clear enough - they were confusing students, career centers and our own team. They made people think we were selling student data. We weren’t, aren’t and are committed not to. It’s important that we make this easy to understand and extremely clear to anyone. So we rewrote all of our policies.

I wanted to highlight how we’ve narrowed the scope of our policies to better protect students, universities and employers and to better clarify how we were already acting as a business.

First off, the Privacy Policy:

  • We’re now much more clear about our core business principles, namely that Handshake does not sell personal student data.
  • We clarified how Handshake collects data from universities, students, third parties, and through the use of our website. Universities upload student data to get started, students complete their profiles to be considered for job opportunities, and Handshake notes usage and log data to tailor the service to each individual user.
  • We explained our use of personal data to personalize and improve the service. We use the information students share on their profiles to match them with the best opportunities.
  • We improved the description of our process for deleting student data. After graduation, if a student hasn’t logged in within 24 months, their information is automatically deleted.

With regards to the Terms of Service:

  • We made it easier to read! You shouldn’t have to be a lawyer to understand it.
  • We clarified student rights. Students own their own content. And Handshake does not sell personal student data.
  • We explained the differences between “private” and “public” student accounts. Students choose to make their profiles public or private. “Public” extends to other users and universities, and limited information is still visible to employers when profiles are “private.”

We’ve also made product changes that make it easier for students to control who sees their information and to see what information they’re sharing. Even if the student has chosen to make his/her student public, GPA will now be hidden to employers by default. In addition to choosing to make their profile public or private during onboarding, students can easily hide their entire profile directly on the profile page.

Our mission is to help every student build a great career, no matter where they go to school, who they know or how much money they have. This requires the the trust of our university partners, their students and employers. That trust is built, in large part, on our ability to protect student data privacy. We take that responsibility very seriously. If you have questions or feedback on this or any other issue, please visit our help center or contact us at support@joinhandshake.com.