UF removes 'Schoolflow' app
Published February 23rd, 2016
GAINESVILLE, Fla.--An app that allows University of Florida students to view their assignments and grades on their phones is under scrutiny.
The app, Schoolflow, is an organizational app that about a dozen of universities are using. But the University of Florida removed it right after its launch. The app was launched on the University of Florida's student website, Canvas, on Tuesday.
"They didn't come through us. It was an unauthorized app," says Janine Sikes, University of Florida spokeswoman.
More than 500 students downloaded the app before it was removed.
"This is a company that launched an app without the University of Florida's approval and our vendor, Canvas, disabled that connection," explains Sikes.
Although UF didn't authorize the app to be launched on its site, Schoolflow developers did have approval from Canvas, the university's current online contractor. Schoolflow app developers say they didn't realize they needed to ask permission specifically from UF.
"From my understanding and from the API guidelines through Canvas, we were never really told that we need to go to different schools and get their permission," explains Simon Pacheco, who started the Schoolflow app out of his dorm two years ago.
For UF, Sikes says it's all about ensuring students' security is safe.
"What we did was express our concerns and we're certainly open to considering the app, we just request that they come through the normal process of any IT vendor," says Sikes.
Students I talked to are optimistic about the app, but until they know more about it, most think UF did the right thing in shutting it down.
"If you don't know what you're dealing with and something got on a school-approved website, a government funded site, I just don't think that's OK especially when we don't know what we're dealing with," says Jake Winderman, a UF sophomore.
UF students are especially weary after seeing more than 60,000 students have their information breached at UCF.
"Personally, as a student here, I don't want anything like that happening. I like to think that my information is secure through Canvas," says Winderman.
Sikes says the university is not opposed to using the app, they just want it to ensure the proper safeguards are in place. Schoolflow developers tell us they're currently going through the process to get their app approved by UF.
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