Rate My Schools (RMS) Privacy Policy

Last Updated: May 21,2020.

RateMySchools.Org (“RMS”) takes privacy seriously. This Privacy Policy explains who we are, how we collect, share, and use personal information about you, and how you can exercise your privacy rights.

Our Privacy Policy applies to all users of the RMS website: https://ratemyschools.org/ (and any subdomains). When you use our website, you agree to comply with our Terms of Use and our Community Guidelines.

This Privacy Policy does not cover your use of any of RMS’s paid schools.

1. About RMS

RMS offers a public website where you can search for and discover reviews, rankings, and statistics on hundreds of thousands of U.S colleges, graduate schools & K-12 schools, communicate with other users, and contribute your recommendations and reviews of the schools.

2. Information We Collect and How We Use It

We receive, store, and process certain types of personal information about you from your use of the Site, automatic data collection, and from certain third parties.


What Categories and Types of Information We Collect

We may collect, transmit, and store information about you if you are a visitor or registered user of our Site. We collect various categories of personal information when you use the Site. Over the last 12 months, we have collected the following categories of personal information:

CategoryExamples
IdentifiersFirst Name, Last Name, Email address.
Internet or other electronic network or device activity informationSearch history, information on your interactions with a website, application, or advertisement
Geolocation DataPhysical location, generally.
Professional InformationCurrent or past employment, job title, employer name

How We Receive Personal Information

Directly from you. When you visit our Site, log-in as a registered user, or provide your information in a form on our Site, we will collect and store that information.

Indirectly from you. When you navigate and interact with our Site, some information is automatically collected by cookies and similar technologies. Not all information collected may be personal information, and some cookies are necessary to use different functionalities of our Site. The personal information collected may include information about your computer and internet connection, like IP address, operating system, and browser type. For more information about the cookies we use, see our Cookie Policy.

From Social Media Networks. When you use a social network login to access our Site, you will share certain personal information from your social media account with us. For example, if you connect to our Site through your LinkedIn account, we will receive and store your LinkedIn Profile information (your company name, industry, company size, job title, summary, end date, profile picture, and skills from your LinkedIn profile) and LinkedIn connections (we will use this information to show you reviews written by your connections, however, we will not access your connections’ contact information nor send messages to your connections).

From Other Sources. We also may periodically obtain both personal and non-personal information about you from affiliated entities, business partners, and other independent third-party sources and add it to other information about you. For example, if you visit our Site by “clicking-through” from a site operated by one of our business partners and you have registered with that partner, then information about you that you have provided to that partner may be shared with us, such as contact information and demographic information.


Why We Use Your Personal Information

We may use Personal Information as permitted by law, for the following business purposes:

To provide the Site and various functions related to services offered on the Site. When you create an account on the Site, we store and use the information you provide during that process. This may include your first and last name, your email address, the company you work for, and any other information you may provide during the account creation process. We may, if you consent, publicly display your first name and last initial, as well as any other photo or content you supply as part of your account profile. We also store and use any preferences you provide to personalize your user experience, including the types of software services and products that you use.

Any reviews or other content that you submit to the Site are intended for public display and are therefore viewable by the public, including your first name and last initial, and any photos associated with your account. You can limit the public nature of some of this information in your account settings.

To fulfill any contact requests you make on the Site. When you request additional information on a certain third-party service or product listed on our Site, we will use the information you provide to connect you with the provider of that service or product.

To engage in research and analysis related to the Site. We store and use information to identify and fix errors, understand how visitors use our Site, research and test different features, and analyze how visitors arrive at and use our Site.

To personalize your experience. We store and use information provided by you, such as the software products and services you use or have used, or are researching on the Site, to personalize and make recommendations to you based on your provided information.

To improve and understand usage of the Site. We store and use information about your use of the Site, such as your search activity, pages viewed, and the date, time and duration of your visits, to understand and improve usage of the Site.

To provide feedback to third party businesses that are listed on the Site. We store and use information about you or provided by you in anonymized, aggregated format to assist our business partners in understanding their potential customers or current users.

To enhance the security of the Site. We store and use information to ensure the security of our Site. For example, we use the information collected by certain cookies to determine if you are logged in and to detect unauthorized access to your account.

To comply with legal obligations. We use and share your information as necessary to respond to subpoenas, court orders, or other legal process; we also may use and share your information to establish or exercise our legal rights, to defend against legal claims, or as otherwise required by law.

We may use and share your personal information when we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal or suspected illegal activities; to protect and defend the rights, property, or safety of G2, our Site visitors and registered users, our licensees, and others.

We may use and share your personal information in connection with a corporate transaction, such as a divestiture, investment, merger, consolidation, or asset sale, or in the unlikely event of bankruptcy.

3. Do-Not-Track

RMS does not currently respond to Do-Not-Track signals. You may, however, adjust your preferences for certain tracking, for example, by disabling cookies or using ‘private’ or ‘incognito’ browsing modes. Learn more in our Cookie Policy.

4. Reviews and Other Content Published on Our Site

If you leave a review on the Site or participate on a discussion board, your review(s) or comments will be publicly available on and off of our Site. You can submit reviews and comments anonymously, if you would like.

Before you submit a review, please note the following:

Submitting reviews and comments is entirely voluntary.

By submitting reviews and comments, you grant RMS an authorization to publicly share them and sub-license the content according to our Terms of Use. This means that we can authorize: (a) the providers of software products and services to share this content through their websites, social media sites, or other marketing materials, such as slide decks or case studies, and/or the operators of other publicly-available websites, social media sites, platforms, or mobile apps to republish this content.

You can always choose to post reviews and comments anonymously, so that no one, except us, will know you posted the review or comment.

If you posted an attributed review under your name, you can change your mind later, and we will anonymize or delete it. However, please understand that we cannot guarantee others did not store the information prior to the change, by printing or downloading the original post.

5. How We Share Your Information

RMS may share your personal information with the providers of products and services listed on our Site, with our business partners, with our service providers, with various social media networks, our affiliates, and any other third parties whom you authorize us to share your information with. More detail about who we share your personal information with, and what types of personal information they receive from us, can be found below.

Sharing with providers of products and service listed on the Site. When you expressly request to be contacted by requesting more information or requesting a demo of a product or service, we will share your personal information with the provider of the software product or service with whom you’ve asked to be connected, in order to fulfill your request.

In fulfilling your request, we will provide the following personal information, to the extent you provide it:

  • First and last name
  • Email address

Sharing your content. When you leave a review on the Site, unattributed or not, that review and any personal information you have associated with that review, may be shared with our syndication partners. This information may be displayed publicly on other social media sites, third-party software marketplaces, the providers of software products and services listed on our Site, and the operators of other publicly-available websites, platforms, or mobile apps that we have authorized to share this content through their websites, social media sits, platforms, mobile apps, or other marketing materials, such as slide decks or case studies.

In sharing your content, we will share the following personal information, to the extent you provide it:

  • First name, last initial
  • The profile picture associated with your RMS account
  • Your job title
  • Your employer

Sharing with our service providers. RMS uses third-party service providers to support or provide services for us in connection with the Site, such as hosting, security and fraud prevention, technical and user support, tracking and reporting usage of the Site, marketing, and other functions. We share your information with them as necessary to perform tasks on our behalf and they are obligated to not disclose or use it for any other purpose.

Sharing with social networks. If you sign in to your RMS account using a social network like LinkedIn or Facebook, we may share information about your activity or any content you post on the Site with the relevant social network. For example, if you write a review on the site and elect to post that review on social media, we will share the personal information you have provided in connection with that review to the relevant social network in order to facilitate the sharing of your review.

Sharing with our affiliates. We share information from or about you with our affiliates and require them to abide by this policy. If another company were to acquire RMS, or all or substantially all of our assets, that company would then possess any information RMS has from or about you and will collect, use, and disclose that information solely as described in this policy.

RMS may receive monetary or other valuable consideration for sharing your personal information when you submit a request to be contacted by a provider on our Site. We do not share that information with any other third parties. The personal information that is shared includes your first and last name, and your email address. Any other information you submit with your request will also be shared with the provider.

RMS has not sold any other personal information for any other purpose in the last 12 months.

6. Your Data Privacy Rights

Depending on where you are located and/or live, you may exercise certain data privacy rights, and RMS will facilitate the exercise of those rights.


European Privacy Rights

If you are a resident or are otherwise located in the territory of Europe, this section provides additional details about the personal data we collect about you, and your rights granted by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).

Subject to certain limitations, the GDPR provides you the following privacy rights:

Transparency and the right to information. Through this policy we explain how we use and share your personal information. However, if you have questions or concerns you can contact us any time at [email protected].

Right of access, objection, restriction of processing, erasure, and portability. You can make a request to access, object, restrict, erase, or transfer any of your personal data here. You also have the right to withdraw your consent at any time when we process your personal data based on your consent.

Right to opt-out to direct marketing. You have the right to opt-out at any time to receiving marketing materials from us by following the opt-out instructions in our commercial emails, by contacting us, or by adjusting your preferences under your Profile Details on the Site.

Please note that we reserve the right to send you other communications, including service announcements and administrative messages relating to your RMS account, without offering you the opportunity to opt out of receiving them.

Right not to be subject to an automated decision, including profiling. We do not make automated decisions using your personal data that may negatively impact you. We use cookies and similar technologies on our Site to personalize your experience on the Site and recommending software products and services that may be of interest to you. For additional information or to opt-out see our Cookie Policy.

Right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. If you consider that the processing of your personal data infringes your privacy rights according to the GDPR, you have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in the member state of your habitual residence, place of work, or place of the alleged infringement. Contact details for the EU data protection authorities can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/bodies/authorities/index_en.htm

Our legal basis for collecting and using the personal data described in this policy will depend on the type of information and the context in which we collect it.

However, we will normally collect personal data from you only in the following circumstances:

  • Where we have your express consent to do so
  • Where we need the personal data to perform a contract with you
  • Where the processing is in our legitimate interests and is not overridden by your data protection interests or fundamental rights and freedoms

In some cases, we may also have a legal obligation to collect personal data from you to protect your vital interests or those of another person (for example, to prevent, investigate or identify possible wrongdoing in connection with the Site or to comply with legal obligations).

If we ask you to provide personal data to comply with a legal requirement or to perform a contract with you, we will identify such basis for processing at the relevant time and let you know if the provision of your personal information is mandatory or not (as well as the possible consequences associated with not providing such information).

If we collect and use your personal data in reliance on our legitimate interests (or those of any third party), this interest will typically be to operate our Site, communicate with you in relation to your account or the Site, to solicit information from you, including through surveys, to share aggregated information with providers of listed products or services and other licensees of our research and report offerings, to measure interest in and improve our offerings and Site, to engage in marketing activities, and to otherwise customize your experience with RMS.

If you have questions about or need further information concerning the legal basis on which we collect and use your personal information, please contact us at [email protected].


California Privacy Rights

If you are a resident of California, this section provides additional details about the personal information we collect about you, and your rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act, or “CCPA.”

Subject to certain limitations, the CCPA provides you the right to request:

  • That we provide you access to details on the categories or specific pieces of personal information we collect and/or sell (including how we use and disclose this information, to whom we may sell it);
  • That we delete any of your personal information;
  • To opt-out of any “sale” of your personal information that may occur; and
  • To not be discriminated against for exercising any of the above rights.

We will verify your request using information associated with your account, including your email address. Further identification may be required. You may also designate an authorized agent to act on your behalf.

GMS will not sell your personal information without your prior consent.


Nevada Privacy Rights

If you are a resident of Nevada, Nevada law (SB 220), permits customers in Nevada to opt-out of the sale of certain kinds of personal information. A sale under Nevada law is the transfer of this personal information to third parties for monetary consideration so these third parties can then re-sell or license the sold information. GMS does not sell your personal information to third parties as defined in Nevada law. If you are a Nevada resident and wish to obtain information about our compliance with Nevada law, please contact us as at [email protected].


7. International Transfers

If you are accessing our Site from outside the United States, please be aware that your information will be transferred to, stored, and processed in the United States where our servers are located and our central database is operated. The data protection laws of the United States may not be equivalent or as comprehensive as the data protection laws as those in your country.

In order to protect your personal information when it is transferred to the United States, we have taken appropriate safeguards to ensure that your personal information will remain protected in accordance with this Privacy Policy. These include our participation in the EU–US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework, additional details of which are set out below. By visiting our Site or using our services, you understand that your information will be transferred to our facilities and to those third parties with whom we share it as described in this Privacy Policy.

8. Security

We have implemented appropriate administrative, technical, and physical security procedures to help protect the personal information you provide to us.

For example, only authorized employees are permitted to access personal information that you do not publish on the Site, and they only may do so for permitted business functions. Our security and privacy policies are periodically reviewed and enhanced as necessary, and only authorized personnel have access to personal information that you have not published on the Site. In addition, we use encryption when transmitting your personal information between your system and ours, and we, together with our partners, employ firewalls and intrusion detection systems to help prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to your non-public information.

Please bear in mind that the submission of information over the Internet is never entirely secure. We cannot guarantee the security of information you submit via our Site while it is in transit over the Internet, and any such submission is at your own risk.

9. Children’s Privacy

The Site is a general audience site and does not offer services directed to individuals under 13 years of age.

No one under the age of 13 may provide any information to or on the Site. We do not knowingly collect personal information from individuals under 13.

If you are under 13, do not use or provide any information on this Site or on or through any of its features, do not register on this Site, use any of the interactive or comment features of this Site, or provide any information about yourself to us, including your name, address, telephone number, email address, or any screen name or user name you may use. Should an individual whom we know to be under the age of 13 send personal information to us, we will delete or destroy such information as soon as reasonably possible. If you believe we might have this type of information, please contact us.

10. Data Retention

RMS retains your personal information where we have an ongoing legitimate business need. For example, we may retain your information to prevent, investigate, or identify possible wrongdoing in connection with the Site or to comply with legal obligations. We may also retain copies of your personal information in our backup archives. With respect to personal information that has been collected using cookies and similar tracing technologies, you can view retention periods in our Cookie Policy, as well as adjust and/or disable certain tracking. Please note that software products and service providers listed on the Site cannot remove their profile page, ratings, or reviews by closing their accounts.

11. Changes to this Privacy Policy

RMS may update this Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you about material changes to this Privacy Policy by either sending a notice to the email address you provided to us and/or by other measures that are appropriate to provide you with notice. We will obtain your consent to any material Privacy Policy changes if and where this is required by applicable data protection laws.

You can see when this Privacy Policy was last updated by checking the “last updated” date displayed at the top of this Privacy Policy.

12. Contact Us

If you have questions about this Privacy Policy or want to communicate with our Data Protection Officer, please contact us at [email protected].

Please provide your identification and contact details, including your email address used to register with this Site, and a complete explanation of your concern.