Parent filed a federal class action suit today against the College Board, a ubiquitous student testing organization, for deceptively collecting and selling students’ confidential personal information.
While formally a not-for-profit, the College Board takes has approximately $1 billion in annual revenues each year and highly compensates its slew of executives, including its president who received over $1.5 million in 2017 compensation. Much of the revenues come from administering the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, PSAT 8/9 and Advanced Placement Exams (“AP”).
According to the suit, the College Board ramped up these revenues using deceptive practices to market a “Student Search Service” to test takers, falsely making it appear as if the service would assist them in getting into colleges and universities. However, “College Board’s true purpose in obtaining the personal information was to sell it to third party organizations in order to increase its already substantial revenues.”
Each year, hundreds of thousands of Illinois students, and millions of students nationwide, take one or more standardized tests provided by College Board. The suit, which seeks nationwide class status, estimates that over 5 million students in the United States were damaged by the College Board’s actions.
The suit alleges that the College Board’s sale of students’ personal information violated Illinois’ consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices laws, and allowed the College Board to unjustly enrich itself and unlawfully invade students’ privacy. It further alleges that the College Board violated the Children’s Privacy Protection Act (325 ILCS § 17/20) when it sold data about students under 16 years of age without parental consent. The suit seeks to enjoin the College Board from any further sales of student data, as well other damages.
Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms and has won more multi-million-dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country.
A copy of today’s suit, Mark S., on behalf of himself and as parent and guardian of his minor child, A.S., and on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals v. College Board, No. 1:19-cv-08068, is available here.