The COVID-19 pandemic greatly accelerated the use of digital technologies in education. But beyond the emergency response, there is an international trend towards exploring how artificial intelligence and data-based analytics can support learning, learning assessments, and evidence-based policy planning processes. The use of data in education is a double-edged sword.
In her 2022 Report on the impact of the digitalisation of education on the right to education, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education clarified that any introduction of digital technologies in education must be framed around the right of every person to public, free, quality education and the commitments of states in this regard both under international human rights law and Sustainable Development Goal 4.
This report is a global investigation of the education technology (EdTech) endorsed by 49 governments for children’s education during the pandemic. Based on technical and policy analysis of 163 EdTech products, Human Rights Watch finds that governments’ endorsements of the majority of these online learning platforms put at risk or directly violated children’s privacy and other children’s rights, for purposes unrelated to their education.