Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Published Tuesday, October 01, 2019 with 0 comment

Youth Sports and Child Privacy



Have you noticed that how much of personal information about your child is with her youth sports team? The roster almost has it all, and for leagues that still rely on paperwork, all of that information is very conveniently available at a single place for anyone who looks keenly enough.

Over time, some leagues have become paperless and collect and store player information digitally. But in absence of a proper privacy policy or encryption, it is even easier to steal digital information, all it takes is a simple Google search. In most cases, with social media accounts being the norm, just a name search can open up all the personal information available in the team roaster, along side social media accounts, all some data-thief needs to do is put two and two together. This can be very fatal if you consider what personal information combined with social information is worth.

When questioned, youth sports leagues argued why it was important collecting personal information. And rightly so, they need the information for a number of reasons - to verify legitimacy, keep the information handy in case of emergency, health insurance, medical clearances and for team’s official records. For medical and insurance purposes, the information is often shared with third party vendors. Parents need to be particular about the way this information is collected, stored, accessed and shared with relevant parties.

In case you are wondering how is this information vulnerable, for starters most roster contain parents’ information which is at a risk of potential identity theft for financial or medical fraud. Many a times, the child’s identity is also at a risk of theft as this can go undiscovered for years. And then the obvious risk of exposing information like child’s details along with whereabouts to a whole world out there has its potential dangers. To add to the menace is social media and digital footprint. For anyone who knows a little about data manipulation, this is all vital information too inviting to miss out on. Then there is always the risk of marketing companies using the information for their datamining and market analysis. While this does not sound as scary to begin with, the legitimacy is definitely questionable. The scariest part is, for many apps and businesses out there, sharing information is a working business model.

Many states in the US have now privacy laws regarding protection of personal information. But since sports leagues do not necessarily fit in the same category as K12 schools, parents should be extra watchful of their ward’s personal information and privacy policy. Parents should make it a point to read the privacy policy carefully, and in absence of one, should insist on written clarity as to the reason of collection of information, and procedures around storage, access and assimilation of information.

The InstaTeam Assurance

InstaTeam respects each player’s right to privacy. The team member information is set as Private by default which means other team members cannot view the contact information of the team member. However, the team members can change their privacy setting and make their information visible to other team members, but this strictly remains their choice. Team admin’s contact information is visible to the team, so that admins can be reachable, but any other information remains private.

At InstaTeam, we do not share member information with any third parties for any reason whatsoever. We are sensitive to your privacy, and are not in the business of selling users’ information.

InstaTeam app uses your current location to show the teams in your area. The GPS information on phone is also used for enhanced features in the app such as driving directions, maps, carpool signup and selecting a venue for the event. Camera and photo gallery access allows sharing of photos with other team members and for sharing on social media, which again is the users’ discretion.

With InstaTeam your privacy is secure. For any further clarification do feel free to mail us @ info@instateam.net.


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