(New York) — The overwhelming majority of educational technology (“EdTech”) products approved by 49 governments of the world’s most populous countries and analyzed by Human Rights Watch appear to have monitored children or have the ability to monitor, endanger, or harm them their rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has published technical evidence and easy-to-view privacy profiles for 163 recommended EdTech products for children to learn during the pandemic.
Of the 163 EdTech products reviewed, 145 (89%) monitored children outside of school hours and at the heart of their private lives, or had the opportunity to monitor them. Many products have been found to collect information about children, e.g. B. who they are, where they are, what they do in class, who their family and friends are, and what kind of device their family could afford to provide them with for online learning. This evidence supports the May 25, 2022 report “‘How Dare They Peep into My Private Life?’: Children’s Rights Violations by Governments that Endorsed Online Learning during the Covid-19 Pandemic” privacy? approved online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic”, summary and recommendations in French).
” Children, parents and teachers have been largely left in the dark about the data surveillance practices we have uncovered in virtual classrooms said Hye Jung Han, technology impact researcher at the Children’s Rights Division and advocacy officer at Human Rights Watch. ” By understanding how these online learning tools have managed their children’s privacy, people can more effectively demand the protection of children online. »
Few governments have verified that the EdTech products they hastily approved during the Covid pandemic are safe for children. Many governments have endangered or violated the rights of children. Of the 42 governments that provided online education for children by creating and offering their own EdTech products, 39 governments developed products that processed children’s personal data in a way that compromised or violated their rights.
Human Rights Watch found that data surveillance took place in educational settings where children could not reasonably object to such surveillance. Most companies did not allow students to opt out of surveillance, and most of this surveillance took place in secret, without the knowledge or consent of the child or their family. In most cases, children during the pandemic have found it impossible to escape this surveillance without abandoning formal education.
The evidence includes easy-to-view privacy profiles designed to help parents, teachers and others understand how government-endorsed EdTech products may have been handling children’s data and privacy at the time of disclosure. Human Rights Watch invites experts, journalists, policymakers, and readers to test and act on data and technical evidence.
Human Rights Watch has launched the #StudentsNotProducts global campaign, bringing together parents, teachers, children and allies to demand the protection of children online.
” Children are priceless, they are not products concluded Hye Jung Han. ” Governments should enact and enforce modern child privacy laws to end surveillance of children by actors who do not have their best interest in mind. »