60% of School Apps are Sending Student Data to Potentially High-risk Third Parties Without Knowledge or Consent According to New Research from Me2B Alliance
What you need to know:
SAN DIEGO, May 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Me2B Alliance, a non-profit industry group focused on respectful technology, today published a research report to drive awareness to the data sharing practices of education apps associated with schools and school districts. According to the research findings, 60% of school apps were sending student data to a variety of third parties, including advertising platforms like Google and Facebook.
The Me2B Alliance Product Testing team audited a random sample of 73 apps from 38 schools in 14 states across the U.S., covering over half a million people (students, their families, educators, etc.). The audit methodology mainly consisted of examining data flow from the apps to external third-party vendors. The report, “School Mobile Apps Student Data Sharing Behavior,” is available for download at no charge.
Most mobile apps are built with software development kits (SDKs), which provide developers with pre-packaged functional modules of code and the potential of creating persistent data channels directly back to the third-party developer of the SDK. As part of the analysis, the magnitude of third-party data sharing in educational apps, as evidenced by the number of SDKs included in apps, was examined.
Key takeaways from the report:
“The findings from our research show the pervasiveness of data sharing with high-risk entities and the amount of people whose data could be compromised due to schools’ lack of resources,” said Lisa LeVasseur, executive director of Me2B Alliance. “The study aims to bring these concerns to light to ensure the right funding support and protections are in place to safeguard our most vulnerable citizens – our children.”
Download the report, “School Mobile Apps Student Data Sharing Behavior,” at no charge. School systems looking for more information can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Organizations interested in advancing standards in ethical data and mobile and internet practices can visit the website to learn more about Me2B Alliance membership.
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