CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – A new student-centric app is sounding alarm bells for cybersecurity experts as many students head back to school.
“Saturn” is a calendar-building app for high school students that allows students to share their schedules with each other.
However, cyber security experts said their top concern about Saturn is how much information it’s collecting, and who is getting a hold of it.
“There might be people who would have reasons for wanting to contact a lot of young people, that might not be the reasons you would want them to have, that would have this information,” Professor of Computer Engineering at Clemson University Richard Brooks said. “And would have pretty accurate information as to where the students are and at what times.”
Saturn app developers said they’re working to raise the bar for security and are actively removing every suspected non-student on the platform.
The amount of high school students on the app in each district varies, according to the app:
- Over 1,100 in Berkeley County School District
- Over 2,300 in Charleston County School District
- Over 1,100 in Dorchester District Two
In statements, both the Charleston County School District and Berkeley County School District said they are aware of the app, but it is not sanctioned by the district. Dorchester District Two did not respond to a request for comment.
Charleston County School District parent, Anjene Davis, said the presence of the app is concerning, but because it is not sanctioned by the district, it’s truly up to the parents to monitor their child’s activity.
“It’s probably something that parents and families should keep in the front of their minds, especially in the age that we live in now,” Davis said.
The Charleston County School District released the following statement regarding the app:
District leaders are aware of the Saturn app and the concerns expressed on social media platforms. However, the app is not available on our devices.
Statement from the Berkeley County School District:
While students may have downloaded the app on their personal device, Saturn is not an approved or supported communication app in our district. The site has been blocked on our District network. We have no control over individual app downloads on student/parent-owned devices.
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