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EdTech Spyware

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School is spying on your kids.

While the educational community has made concerted efforts to maintain learning during this period, children and students have had to rely more on their own resources to continue learning remotely through the Internet. Teachers also had to adapt to new pedagogical concepts and modes of delivery of teaching. This has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, which brings to thought the question of privacy. As we adopt these new technologies, how is the data being collected used for the benefit of learning, and how it’s it used to further promote revenue.

The Me2B Alliance Product Testing Team audited and analyzed a random sample of 73 mobile applications used by 38 schools in 14 states across the United States, covering over half a million people (students, their families, educators, etc.) who use such apps. Of the schools in the study, 85% have students under the age of 13. These were their findings:

  • 60% of school apps were sending student data to a variety of third parties, including advertising platforms like Google and Facebook

  • On average, there were more than 10 third-party data channels per app

  • Public-school apps are more likely to send student data to third parties than private-school apps (67% public vs. 57% of private school apps)

  • 18% of public-school apps included very high-risk third parties – i.e., third parties that further share data with possibly hundreds or thousands of networked entities

  • Android apps are much more likely than iOS apps to be sending data to third parties, and are much more likely to be sending to high or very high-risk third parties

As we move into the digital classroom, regulators, parents, and teachers need to keep in mind the relevance of privacy, especially when it comes to such a young demographic.

We at Citationsy (perhaps the world’s best reference manager) are proud to have been protecting our user’s privacy since day one. For example, we have no user-specific web tracking technologies. To see more on our privacy status for yourself, check: Real-Time Citationsy Privacy Inspector

To read the entire report please visit: “School Mobile Apps Student Data Sharing Behavior”

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