Kloodle Privacy Changes - Kloodle

Kloodle Privacy Changes

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We have recently changed and enhanced how privacy works on Kloodle. There are a number of main points to note for all of our users which we’ll outline in this blog post. First, we’ll discuss what the default settings are and how they affect you as a Kloodle user. Second, we’ll look at why we have chosen to approach the default privacy settings in this way, and third, we’ll outline what each of these settings mean.

Default Settings

It is worth noting from the outset that these settings can be easily changed by and are under the control of teachers on Kloodle. I’ll lay out here the reasons for choosing our default settings, and you can decide what you wish to do with your students.

All student profiles on Kloodle will now default to Public visibility. This means that the entire contents of their profile is visible by anyone with a link to that person’s profile, as well as any other Kloodle user and anyone with a link to their profile. Teachers are able to control this setting for their student through their Admin Panel, or through their Group Members page. We have taken the decision for students to start off Kloodle life open to the public for a number of reasons: –

– Students will be able to share their profile with employers or universities more easily

– Employers (external employer profiles are coming soon) will be able to search for and interact with students, providing advice, guidance and inspiration to students on Kloodle

– Students will be able to see more of other people’s profiles, setting positive examples and  providing learning opportunities

Kloodle is a social network for employability. We want students to be able to access a wide range of content that will help them to progress with their career. As Kloodle grows, and employers populate the site, access to this information will become more readily available. Equally, employers want to search Kloodle for the wonderful student profiles that are being created. By defaulting student profiles to “Public”, we increase the information an employer can access, enabling them to interact more with the students on Kloodle, provide more value to the Kloodle community and hopefully discover more students for their various vacancies and opportunities.

We weighed this decision very carefully against our need to protect our users from any consequence that may arise for people using the internet. The main consequences we considered were: –

– Students damaging their own and the college’s reputation due to inappropriate content being posted

– Child protection issues

With regards to the first point, we strongly believe that online presence is becoming increasingly valuable in the world’s perception of you, not least any potential employer. We have seen students misrepresent themselves with misjudged Twitter and Facebook content, and Kloodle will be no different. We have a danger in creating a population of young people with two distinct and separate personalities: online and in person. This is incorrect thinking on the individual’s part, as the two marry very much together. Employers are consistently checking online presence as a way of differentiating between potential candidates, with otherwise strong individuals falling victim to a previous social media indiscretion. Charles Darwin outlined the theory of evolution, and its core idea: the survival of the fittest. We believe that online behaviour is an example of the “survival of the fittest”. Those who post inappropriate content leave themselves open to failing in their search for a career.

Also, as a company, social media provides enormous marketing opportunities. The non-obvious way is by the marketing each and every employee does on the company’s behalf each time they post. People connected to an individual posting about their terrible day at work will create a poor perception amongst that person’s social media network. Equally, people posting inappropriate content will, by reflection, equally cause damage to the company’s brand. Businesses need to be sure they are employing responsible individuals who know how to use social media responsibly. These behaviours are formed early on, and can have far reaching impacts. It is up to schools and colleges to educate their students about the potential harm students can cause themselves with an ill-judged post.

We have set our default privacy settings to “Public” in order to provide this learning opportunity. If we forever protect young people against their own misjudgements, we create powerless individuals who take no responsibility for their actions. We believe by opening our privacy settings as default, we provide teachers with the opportunity to point out that “You are visible to somebody who may potentially employ you, you shouldn’t damage your chances by posting inappropriate content”.

Child protection issues are something we take incredibly seriously. The measures we take to ensure the safety of our users include: –

– Providing accounts only to people associated with the organisations we work with

– Vetting all employers who have Kloodle profiles

– Having robust reporting features for inappropriate use.

We only allow people who are students of, or work with, one of our schools, colleges, or employers to create a Kloodle account. This is important, as we vet every organisation who creates a Kloodle account and allow only reputable employers who will add value to our network. By controlling access to students in such a way, we limit the exposure to any potential nasty experiences.

Kloodle also has real time reporting through our direct messaging system. This allows users to contact our offices and report any misdemeanours instantly. We have policies in place for reporting safeguarding issues to the relevant bodies.

Description of Settings

Kloodle has 3 main privacy settings for a whole profile: –

– Private

– College only

– Public

NOTE:- IN ALL SETTINGS, EDUCATION IS PRIVATE AND VISIBLE BY ONLY A PERSON’S TEACHER AND ANY VACANCY THE STUDENT APPLIES TO

Private profiles are visible to a student’s connections only. Anyone who is not connected to the student would need to send a connection request in order to see any of that student’s profile. College only privacy setting allows a student to become visible to anyone within their college. This includes users who aren’t connected to that student. Public profiles (the default setting) are visible to anyone with a Kloodle account (including members of other organisations and colleges), anyone with the link to that student’s profile, and is visible in Google searches.

This global, whole profile privacy setting can only be changed by the teacher. This then becomes the default setting that governs how visible a student profile is on Kloodle. Students have control of visibility for individual posts, but this will always be capped by the global profile setting. For example, a student may wish to post a blog as visible to the public, but if a teacher has set the profile to private, the post will only ever be visible to a student’s connections.

Post Privacy

As well as global, whole profile settings, students can set the privacy for each of their content posts individually. This has for main settings: –

– Only me

– Private

– College Only

– Public

The new setting introduced here is the “Only me”. This allows students to post content that is visible to only themselves. Again, private posts are visible to a student’s connections only, College only posts are visible to connections and anyone within a student’s college, and public posts are visible across Kloodle.

A tutorial on how to set privacy is on our support site here.

Conclusion

In order to create a social network of value and use, we have needed to balance two key ideas: the safety of our users and the value they derive from using Kloodle by their ability to interact with each other. The safety of our users is of utmost important. This is the reason we have striven to create robust privacy controls that allow students to remain safe whilst using Kloodle. This idea extends to the social side of Kloodle. By allowing flexibility and control, we hope to provide students with the confidence to post content to their profiles, and use this content to showcase their value to an employer. We also want to encourage interactivity and contribution to the Kloodle community. We see immense value in students knowing their content could be read by a potential employer, and in the ability to interact with an employer via a group or comment on a status.

These online behaviours are shaping all of our interactions. By learning the importance of proper and appropriate online conduct from an early age, we hope to create savvy digital citizens who realise they are responsible for their actions.

About Phillip Hayes

Co Founder and CEO of @kloodleUK, the social network for student employability and careers. Part time Matthew Hayden mimic. I am passionate about making a dent in education by embedding employers and employability.

Entries by Phillip Hayes

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