Online learning’s toll on kids’ privacy

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The shift to online schooling is running roughshod over children’s privacy rules and rights, experts say, and creating new inequalities. The big picture: Minors are the only group that enjoys federal online privacy protections in the U.S., but that’s not enough to protect their privacy rights as school districts and teachers scramble to move all classwork to the internet amid the pandemic. Why it matters: These rules aren’t just technicalities. If companies don’t maintain rigorous data security and privacy practices, children’s personal information, photos and video could end up in the wrong hands.What’s happening: “We’re trying to take brick-and-mortar school and shove it onto the internet, and the two things just aren’t compatible,” Karen Richardson, executive director for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education, told Axios.”Even the most dedicated parent or educator is going to have a really hard time figuring out what’s actually happening with their students’ data,” Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, told Axios.One key problem is that the pandemic is porting educational inequalities online.Richer school districts can employ people to deal with privacy and cybersecurity compliance, choosing the apps and other digital products that …

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