student privacy

10 big findings about ed-tech privacy

Many applications and services aren't totally transparent when it comes to student privacy and how information is used

Student information privacy is a hot-button topic, and a new Common Sense Education survey shows a widespread lack of transparency and inconsistent privacy and security practices among ed-tech applications and services.

Over a three-year period, researchers evaluated 100 popular ed-tech products and services and found that just 10 percent of those applications or services met minimum criteria for transparency and quality.

While the findings don’t necessarily indicate that vendors are doing anything unethical, they could mean that the application or service is violating federal or state laws, depending on how it is used.

The overall lack of transparency is troubling, according to the authors, because in their analysis, transparency is “a reliable indicator of quality.” In fact, the applications and services in the evaluation that tended to be more transparent also tended to engage in qualitatively better privacy and security practices.

Laura Ascione

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