The new Saturn app is popular among high school students but parents are concerned about privacy issues for kids sharing personal information.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With kids going back to school across the Charlotte area, a new app that’s supposed to make things easier is raising some parents’ anxiety.
It’s called Saturn, and it allows students to upload their schedules to see who is in their classes. However, some parents are concerned, suggesting almost anyone could see their kids’ schedules and other personal information.
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Is the Saturn app safe for students to use?
WHAT WE FOUND
WCNC Charlotte’s VERIFY team attempted to create a Saturn account. When you download the app, it asks for a birthday. You can enter any date you like to match that of a high school student. It then asks users to pick a school. It does allow users to start selecting classes with teachers who are on the app, but it won’t show other students’ schedules until verifying the email address associated with the account. The app said it was in the process of verifying the VERIFY email address.
Saturn’s website states the company uses many different tools to verify, including contacts and whether a user overlaps with other students as well as a student’s email address. If you are not verified, you cannot engage or chat with verified users. They also say they are working on building a new feature to help make sure students stay safe on Saturn, and it’s only designed to be used by active students in high school.
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Dean said parents should be aware of all social media platforms their kids are using.
“Lean into what they are using,” Dean said. “Learn how to use it and let them talk to you about how they are using it and why, and you can teach them about potential dangers or pitfalls.”
Even though WCNC Charlotte couldn’t see any other students’ schedules, Dean said it’s important to have open conversations with your kids about any information they share online.
“Make sure you are setting your privacy settings and teaching your kids those privacy settings,” Dean said.
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WCNC Charlotte’s Verify series is all about trying to make a difference in the Carolinas by making sure the community has the correct information. WCNC Charlotte outlines concisely what we know and what we don’t know. Sometimes the answer can be surprising. Watch previous stories where we verify social media claims in the YouTube playlist below and subscribe to get updated when new videos are uploaded.