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Children’s Privacy: Watch out EdTech – the FTC just clamped down on Chegg, without even invoking COPPA!

Educational technology companies, which saw massive global growth during COVID, have often played fast and loose with student data. But the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has raised the stakes by charging the three-quarter billion dollar per year industry leader Chegg with having exposed the data of 40 million users. And ever more alarmingly, the Chegg data found available for sale includes highly sensitive details on student religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, and parental income.

How was this possible? Easy, since Chegg had gave employees and outside contractors an all-access password to user account data stored on AWS online systems.

This is a big warning bell for edtech, since it’s the first case in the FTC’s campaign to police edtech data mining and because instead of doing so via the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the agency charged Chegg with unfair, deceptive business practices.

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Great Privacy Awakening is real and it’s moving forward despite no US federal privacy regulation

November 1, 2022

Don’t underestimate individuals in this new privacy world! DataGrail’s new survey reveals how strongly people feel about privacy and how far they’ll go to protect theirs. Of more than 2,000 surveyed, 57% feel fed up or creeped out by privacy practices, 67% are willing to pay $100+ annually to keep their data safe, and 75% are prepared to abandon the brands that don’t protect their data.

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Meta Releases Lying, Offensive AI and Pretends to Be Surprised

November 23, 2022

Like trouble, bad behavior by Meta shows up whether you look for it or not.  The latest is an open-source language model that was supposed to provide reliable search results because it was trained on academic papers.  Alas, it was quickly withdrawn after reviewers found that it returned results that were grammatical and plausible but also incorrect, not to mention filled with “antisemitism, homophobia, and misogyny.”  How can this be a surprise?

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