In classrooms across the country, students as young as kindergarteners are turning on school-issued devices and logging into their online school accounts. While students and teachers can benefit from educational apps and services, behind the scenes edtech companies are inhaling troves of data on students, often without the awareness and consent of students and their families. Over the past year, EFF has fought for the privacy and security of student data on multiple fronts.
In a rural, partly Amish community in Indiana, the schools are rapidly adopting educational technology from tech giants like Google. Students may be leaving farms in the morning to come to classrooms with Chromebooks at every desk. As technology becomes more and more integrated into modern education, these schools have to draw on scarce resources to protect the privacy of their students.
With a new school year underway, concerns about student privacy are at the forefront of parents’ and students’ minds. The Student Privacy Pledge, which recently topped 300 signatories and reached its two-year launch anniversary, is at the center of discussions about how to make sure tech and education companies protect students and their information.