How many layers does K-12 education have? How much are/has/have computers and software infiltrated? How much information is being gathered and how is it/could it be used? Is the information about your child safe?
We came across this article at Missouri Education Watch from April of 2018 that we thought you would find interesting. We’re going to summarize it but if you want to read the whole piece please click: http://missourieducationwatchdog.com/bombshell-study-thousands-of-educational-apps-are-improperly-tracking-children/ written by Cheri Kisecker.
EdWeek (http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2018/04/android_mobile_apps_track_children_study.html) recently ran an article saying thousands of Apps for Android devices are tracking, monitoring and recording information about children.
The researchers found:
- 5 percent of the apps included in the study collected users’ location or contact data (such as phone number or email address) without first obtaining parental consent.
- 1,100 of the apps (19 percent of those studied) shared sensitive information with third-party services whose terms of service explicitly prohibited their use in children’s apps, likely because they are engaged in behavioral advertising.
- 2,281 apps (39 percent of those studied) appeared to violate Google’s terms of service regarding the sharing of persistent identifiers (which provide unique information that can be associated with an individual over time and across platforms, apps, or devices.)
- 40 percent of the apps in the study shared users’ personal information via the internet without applying reasonable security measures.
- Of the 1,280 apps included in the study that integrated with Facebook, 92 percent did not correctly utilize the company’s configuration options in order to protect users under 13.
You can search for the Apps at: https://www.appcensus.mobi/ About 57% of the Apps appear to violate laws.
Should you be concerned?
- If you worry that information on your child will harm them…yes
- If you worry that information will be sold or stolen…yes
What can you do?
- Contact your local school district and ask for a list of Apps used by the district, school and teachers. You may find that some districts have few controls and can’t tell you what’s being used. If that’sthe case…you may want to put your foot down and demand they come clean.