Data Privacy in the Age of Ed-Tech
Especially during COVID-19, digitization has improved access to education but it does have a dark side.
Over the course of the past decade, the education system has been completely revamped by technology. Screens have become the new window to information, and have greatly replaced the conventional pen and paper classroom. Educational institutions have resorted to various digital platforms for teaching and learning, submissions, as well as database management.
The Corona virus outbreak leading to months of isolation has given quite a boom to this Educational Technology sector. While digitization has considerably expanded access to education in these tough times, the vast amounts of data being exchanged online have also led to concerns about privacy.
Ed-tech companies collect data ranging from e-mails and documents to personal information, by the means of submitting applications, updating details, and accessing webinars.
Recently, a Gurugram based educational startup was responsible for leaking information of around 50k students, including details such as addresses and medical history.
This gives us an adequate idea of the problem at hand.
Such data breaches are both the result of accidents and ignorance. Often the organizations using these educational platforms do not pay heed to the privacy terms and conditions. Also, some Ed-tech companies have poor security standards, which puts the data of students as well as instructors all the more at risk.
Either way, such incidents are a complete betrayal to the people who entrust these platforms with their data. This can only be prevented by dialogue between the vendors and organizations.
Ed-tech companies must have suitable privacy policies in place while handling personal data. The user should have complete rights to any shared information which should be protected by high security and limited processing. Sensitive data should only be used in compliance with the law and not for organizational benefit.
The key lies in following ethical data practices and staying informed.
Ed-tech companies are the future of education and must operate in the best interest of the students they serve, as responsible digital citizens.
by Amisha Singh | instagram: amixhaa