A prominent international observatory investigated the privacy protections of 164 educational platforms used during the epidemic in 49 countries, including Spain. The results invite thought. 89% of these tools (EdTech) collected children’s data without their consent to sell it to third parties, especially to online advertising companies. In this way, students around the world have become the product, following the motto of the digital economy that when something is free, the product is you (your data, your privacy, your privacy).
This data traffic, which is obtained without following the rules and without permission, is a very profitable activity. Thanks to these collections, companies dedicated to online advertising can know the habits of children, where they live, what devices they can afford. According to the commented report, targeted advertising and behavioral advertising are a real treasure for companies, and all this at a time when children can be easily manipulated.
Companies that market these educational tools have denied the evidence. Third parties involved, as well as advertising companies, denied receiving data from minors. But the methodology of the study, carried out in 2021, leaves no room for doubt. In the absence of regulations, fines or sanctions, all that remains is to trust that abuses cannot be committed, as if ethics and codes of conduct were relevant to the digital economy that surrounds us.
The report advises authorities, EdTechs and advertising companies to do some obvious things, such as conducting privacy audits on these tools or prompt deletion of data collected from minors. Castilla is wide-ranging, as Castizo said, when the companies involved deny the evidence and authorities realize they are failing to monitor compliance with data protection regulations. Dan Cohen, a geographer specializing in the dynamics of public education, has published extensive research on investor interest in making the most of the commodification of public education and the destruction of ties between students, their schools, and their communities. Business rules in digital education too.