• The Saturn App has recently gained national attention as students have returned to school this year. The social app is used by students to upload and share their school schedules, which can then be viewed and shared with other individuals across the app who sign up for their school. 

    Once the image of a student’s schedule is uploaded, the App uses Optical Character Recognition to put their school schedule in a calendar which can be viewed and shared with others who sign up for that school using App. Late last week LISD Technology blocked the App from being able to be installed on LISD iPads. However, students are likely using the App on their personal devices, such as their personal cell phone.  

    Several concerns about the App have developed nationally and locally. Some of the concerns include:

    • Anyone can download Saturn, provide a general location, and select a high school. To view every user from a local high school who is using the App, all anyone needs is a phone number. 

    • The setup process asks for a name, a birthday, and a high school graduating class; all of which someone could make up. Once this information is entered, someone is free to browse Saturn as a student.

    • Once someone has access to the class, they have access to other student schedules and they can make friend requests, share photos, chat and direct message a student.  This is concerning as any stalker, predator, or bully could easily create a fake profile and use the App. This would allow them to know a student's schedule.

    • Saturn states they “verify” users to make sure when they sign up that they are using an actual school district domain email account.

    • Saturn released updates to the App on Monday Aug. 13 to strengthen their verification process, but there are still holes in their process to confirm students are in fact students of a specific graduating school class.


    Consider using caution if you decide to allow your child to use the Saturn App. There are a few steps that can be taken to improve privacy when using the App:

    • When signing up, users can opt out of providing a precise location, and decline uploading contacts to Saturn.

    • Users have the ability to hide their schedule from other users: 

      • Navigate to your child’s profile.
      • Tap the Settings icon.
      • Tap “Edit Profile”.
      • Scroll all the way down.
      • Toggle off “Schedule Visibility”.

    We encourage you to play an active role in your child's use of technology.  Awareness of these types of Apps is important as is having conversations with your kids about being safe online.