CyberNews Briefs

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

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), students who were required to use government-endorsed education technology, also referred to as ed tech, during the Covid-19 pandemic may have been subject to a variety of harmful cyber practices, such as keystroke monitoring and data collection. In addition, the HRW alleges that the data collected from the students’ devices was later sold to ad tech companies. Since the children are minors, this practice could be both immoral or illegal. According to HRW, roughly 146 our of 164 government-endorsed ed tech products endangered the privacy of children.

HRW alleges that 199 third party companies were the beneficiaries of personal data collected from the students’ devices. Only 35 of these vendors clarified that the data could be used for behavioral advertising, applying to a total of 23 products that were targeted towards children as its primary audience. The HRW investigation into the practices began in March of 2021 and examined the usage of ed tech products as a result of the pandemic.

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