A new report finds that, under the guise of “personalized learning,” school-issued computer devices — now distributed to one-third of K-12 students in schools across the United States — are serving to collect and store an unprecedented amount of personal data on children without their parents’ notice or consent.
A newly released investigation by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reveals student use of technology in school has grown at a profound rate, especially with free or low-fee devices issued by schools.
The education technology industry, according to the report, is now valued at over $8 billion.
Approximately half of the devices issued to U.S. children are Google Chromebooks, with about 30 million students, teachers, and school officials using Google’s G Suite for Education, observes EFF.
Student information collected by education technology services through these devices includes not only personally identifying information (PII) – such as name and date of birth – but also browsing history, location information, contact lists, and behavioral data.
Student data is also often automatically uploaded to the cloud – all without the knowledge of parents.