Of the 60% of school apps sharing data, Android versions much worse than iOS

Posted:
in General Discussion
A new study reveals that 60% of apps used by schools share data with third parties, with iOS sharing less than Android, and as a rule, to less "risky" aggregators.

Me2BA's report shows that 60% of student apps are sharing data with third parties
Me2BA's report shows that 60% of student apps are sharing data with third parties


The research comes from Me2B Alliance, a non-profit group describing itself as "focused on respectful technology."

The study found that Android apps were three times more likely to share data with third parties. Of the 44 apps found sharing student data, 73% were Android apps. Android apps were also much more likely to send data to third parties labeled either "high risk" or "very high risk."

The research says 91% of Android apps send data to "high-risk" parties compared to 26% of iOS apps. 20% of Android apps sent data to "very high-risk" parties, compared to only 2.6% of iOS apps.

On average, each school app transmitted data to more than ten third-party data channels. The third parties the apps sent data to included advertising platforms like Google and Facebook.

Data typically included unique identifiers that allow ad trackers and other third parties to build tracking profiles for students. The profiling practice includes children under the age of 13.

The study adds that most of the apps initiated data transmission as soon as the app loads. This finding means that they begin tracking the student even before they've signed in to the app.

The study found Android used more SDKs
The study found Android used more SDKs


The Me2B Alliance tested a random sample of 73 apps used by 38 schools across 14 different U.S. states. The team conducting the tests says the audited apps cover more than half a million users, including students, their families, and educators.

"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."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,304member
    As I have posted several times, people give lip service to privacy and security but in practice they don’t care one bit. Most of Apple’s efforts in this matter go unappreciated  and ignored. If people cared iOS would have a much larger marketshare, which it doesn’t. Ipso facto privacy is not important.
    elijahg
  • Reply 2 of 7
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,220member
    lkrupp said:
    As I have posted several times, people give lip service to privacy and security but in practice they don’t care one bit. Most of Apple’s efforts in this matter go unappreciated  and ignored. If people cared iOS would have a much larger marketshare, which it doesn’t. Ipso facto privacy is not important.
    Unfortunately the draw of "free" services is apparently too much for many, and apparently worth the loss of privacy. I am aghast when anyone I know on Android says they "don't care" about their data being used. It just doesn't make sense to me how that is ok for some people. Maybe if they knew exactly what data was being sold/shared about them they'd have second thoughts.
    edited May 4
  • Reply 3 of 7
    lkrupp said:
    As I have posted several times, people give lip service to privacy and security but in practice they don’t care one bit. Most of Apple’s efforts in this matter go unappreciated  and ignored. If people cared iOS would have a much larger marketshare, which it doesn’t. Ipso facto privacy is not important.

    I agree, just think how big Apple could become if they stopped caring and gave into Epic, Facebook, Google etc - these companies would really be in trouble. Maybe it would require a new CEO to do it though. Be careful what you wish for, it may come true.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 7
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,699member
    Collecting and aggregating data from children, especially preteens in a captive scenario like a classroom, seems like it would be far more than a privacy concern. 

    Wouldn’t you think parents would be more than a little  miffed to know their kids are being mined without parental consent for data when they are in their classrooms? 

    We shouldn’t be looking for privacy advocates to be policing these data collectors, we should be expecting the DOJ to be knocking on their doors armed with search warrants and handcuffs. 
    Dogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    acejax805acejax805 Posts: 106member
    Disgusting. I'd be pissed to find out my child's info was being mined for the purpose of Google and Facebook to profit off of. ATT needs to expand and become the norm, not the exception.
    mike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 811member
    People don't see an immediate harm of sharing their data online. It's like smoking -- you don't have the heart attack for 30 years. 

    And, there's virtually no way to find out what information others have about you, much less if it is correct. 
    mike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    mike54mike54 Posts: 441member
    Google is pushing Chromebooks and their services schools for data collection... get as much from them while their young. Google doesn't care one iota about children's education. Get as much as you from them while they are just starting out. It's a gold mine for them.
    watto_cobra
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