Ed tech wrongfully tracked school children during pandemic: Human Rights Watch

Globally, students who were required to use government-endorsed education technology (ed tech) during the COVID-19 pandemic had their contact, keystroke, and location data collected and sold to ad tech companies, according to the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

A total of 146 of 164 government-endorsed ed tech products endangered the privacy of children, with 199 third-party companies receiving personal data, the HRW said.

Further, only 35 endorsed vendors disclosed that user data would be collected for behavioural advertising, whilst a total of 23 products were developed with children as primary users in mind.

“In the absence of alternatives, children faced a singular choice whether they were aware of it or not: Attend school and use an ed tech product that infringes upon their privacy, or forgo the product altogether, be marked as absent, and be forced to drop out of school during the pandemic,” the HRW wrote in its report How dare they peep into my private life.

The HRW investigation, which began in March 2021, examined the uptake of students using ed tech products as a result of a surge in home learning during pandemic lockdowns — a rise that saw education apps used for an estimated 100 million cumulative hours per week, up 90%

Read More: https://www.zdnet.com/article/ed-tech-wrongfully-tracked-school-children-during-pandemic-human-rights-watch/#ftag=RSSbaffb68