Critics speak out against behavior-tracking apps

November 16, 2014 6:00 pm
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In a New York Times article, Natasha Singer relates criticisms of behavior-tracking apps, in particular the most popular, ClassDojo, which its developer reports is now “used by at least one teacher in roughly one out of three schools in the United States”. Some of the concerns (expressed by “parents, teachers and privacy law scholars”) are that such technology:

  • is often downloaded by teachers “without vetting by school supervisors”
  • “is being adopted without sufficiently considering the ramifications for data privacy and fairness”
  • is “too subjective, enabling teachers to reward or penalize students for amorphous acts like ‘disrespect.”
  • “could potentially harm students’ reputations by unfairly saddling some with ‘a problem child’ label that could stick with them for years”
  • “transfers the student’s data to a company” where they “might later be aggregated and analyzed in unforeseen ways”
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This post was written by Syngli