According to a new research report published by the nonprofit entity Me2B Alliance, around 60 percent of school apps are sending student data to a wide range of high-risk third parties without getting the permission of either the students or their parents.
The study audited 73 apps from 38 different schools spread over 14 American states. It involved almost half a million people, including students, their teachers, and family members. The organization warned that school apps must not include third-party data channels and that an “unacceptable amount” of school data was being shared with third parties through these apps, specifically with analytics and advertising platforms.
“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… 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,” Lisa LeVasseur, executive director of Me2B Alliance, said in a statement.
The study found that around 18 percent of the apps had links to very high risk third parties, meaning that such parties probably re-shared the data with hundreds of thousands of entities. 67 percent of public school apps were found to be sending data to third parties, which is 10 percent higher than private school apps.