60% of school apps potentially send student data

What would you like to know:

  • 60% of school apps sent student data to various third parties, including advertising platforms like Google and Facebook
  • On average, there were more than 10 third-party data channels per app
  • Public school apps are more likely to send student data to third parties than private school apps (67% of public apps vs. 57% of private school apps)
  • 18% of public school apps included at very high risk third parties – i.e. third parties who additionally share data with possibly hundreds or thousands of networked entities
  • Android apps are much more likely than iOS apps to send data to third parties and are much more likely to send data to third parties. high or at very high risk third

SAN DIEGO, May 4, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Me2B Alliance, a nonprofit industry group focused on respectful technology, today released a research report to raise awareness of the data sharing practices of educational applications associated with schools and school districts. According to the research results, 60% of school apps sent student data to various third parties, including ad platforms like Google and Facebook.

The Me2B Alliance product testing team audited a random sample of 73 applications from 38 schools in 14 states across the United States, covering over half a million people (students, their families, educators, etc.). The audit methodology mainly consisted of examining the data flow from the applications to external third-party vendors. The report, “Student Data Sharing Behavior in School Mobile Apps”, is free to download.

Most mobile apps are built with Software Development Kits (SDKs), which provide developers with pre-packaged functional modules of code and the ability to create persistent data channels directly to the third-party SDK developer. As part of the analysis, the extent of third-party data sharing in educational apps, as evidenced by the number of SDKs included in the apps, was examined.

Main takeaways from the report:

  • There is an unacceptable amount of student data shared with third parties – especially advertisers and analytics platforms – in school apps.
  • School apps – whether iOS or Android, public or private schools – should not include third-party data channels.
  • IOS apps have proven to be more secure than Android apps, and with ongoing improvements, the “privacy gap” will widen unless Google makes changes.
  • People still have too little information about the third parties they share data with, and app stores (Apple and Google Play) need to make this information clearer.

“Our research results show the pervasiveness of data sharing with high-risk entities and the number of people whose data could be compromised due to lack of school resources,” said Lisa LeVasseur, Executive Director of Me2B Alliance. “The study aims to shed light on these concerns in order to ensure that the appropriate financial support and protections are in place to protect our most vulnerable citizens – our children.”

Download the free report “Student Data Sharing Behavior in School Mobile Apps”. School systems looking for more information can contact [email protected]. Organizations interested in advancing standards for ethical data and mobile and internet practices can visit the website to learn more about Membership of the Me2B Alliance.

About the Me2B alliance
The Me2B Alliance is a non-profit organization that promotes the respectful treatment of people through technology. We are a new kind of standards development organization – setting the standard for respectful technology. Scenarios like those described in this report – where user data is misused, even inadvertently – highlight the types of problems we are made to avoid through independent testing, as well as education. , research, policy work and advocacy.

PR contact
Adrian lot
Montner Tech PR
[email protected]

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