The Privacy Pitfalls of EdTech AI — Navigating the ‘Big 7’ Narratives

Bad Privacy Blog by Claudiu Popa
2 min readJan 30, 2024


Although it holds tremendous potential, the current state of AI in EdTech a cover for the use of bigdata to collect and monetize children’s data for the benefit of private equity investors. The buzzword is used to garner the enthusiastic support of malleable school board administrators to facilitate the passive consent of parents.

Parents, educators and professionals are reminded to watch for the “Big 7”: The seven “S” Narratives of Abusive EdTech AI:

  1. Suggestion: focus on idealistic benefits away from privacy concerns.
  2. Showmanship: reps often engage in promo tours to harvest community support.
  3. Silencing: school districts “partner” with well funded vendors to intimidate and marginalize dissenters and whistleblowers.
  4. Secrecy: no mention of the faceless 3rd & 4th parties with access to kids’ data.
  5. Storage: perpetual data retention ensures that vendor contracts exclude mandatory data purges, only the “option” to delete the data “upon request”, and ONLY after it has been used to train the AI models.
  6. Secure: unproven claims of data security despite being in cloud containers, across legal jurisdictions, with dubious access controls, should be treated with skepticism.
  7. Strategy: this word should trigger further due diligence, as it can merely allude to the ambitious plans of vendors to gain access to increasingly profitable data.

This article originally appeared on



Bad Privacy Blog by Claudiu Popa

Fīat jūstitia, ruat cælum. Personal musings on data protection fails, snafus & oddities, written & edited by Claudiu Popa; author, educator, booknerd.