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Children’s data privacy at school and cybertrust issues

Let’s talk about data and trust.     Starting with children’s data – which may be flowing to advertisers without informing users or parents.

Non profit Me2B Alliance audited a random sample of 73 apps from 38 schools in 14 states across the country, and found that 60% of these apps were sending student data to a variety of third parties. Roughly half of the apps were sending student data to Google, while 14% were sending data to Facebook. On average, there were 10.6 third-party data channels per app.

The study identified 56 unique SDKs used by the apps, most of which were owned by companies like Google (12), Facebook (7), Apple (7), Amazon (3), Square (3), and Twitter (2). 100% of the Android apps that included SDKs sent data to Google, the report found.

In total, 18% of the apps included what Me2ba deems very high-risk, though none of the private school apps sampled in the study included any of very high-risk third parties. Additionally, public schools in general were found to be more likely to send student data to third parties than private schools, with 67% of public school apps sending data vs. 57% of private school apps.

Now, trust.   PC Matic has released a cybersecurity perception survey – Americans are concerned.

  • 57% of Americans responded that they do not believe the United States Federal Government is prepared to defend itself from cyber threats 
  • Nearly 61% of Americans believe the federal government should be doing more to protect American citizens from cyber threats 
  • 46% of IT professionals lack confidence in the United States Government’s ability to defend itself against a cyber attack 
  • Just over 40% of Americans would like to see the United States Congress pass cybersecurity-related legislation 
  • Only a quarter of Americans believe Congress needs to allocate more funding to preventing cybersecurity attacks

Why do we care?

 If you wonder why trust is being eroded, just add this to the list.     My main interest here is the value of actually doing this data management.     I think there’s big value in helping customers understand what data they are collecting and how they are using it, as well as making sure that data that flows out of an organization is also being tracked and audited.  Did those schools know this was happening?    If it’s an active decision, that’s one thing – if its passive.. you end up with data like the perception of government cybersecurity.