Across Indian media, there is a wave of critical reviews of edtech predicting an apocalyptic hour in the industry. These reviews are, however, a commentary on marketing missteps or financial miscalculations and not a deeper crack that concerns data privacy in India and the exploitation of child-sensitive data.
New parents, aka woke millennials succumb to marketing gimmicks by these edtech startups in India. They outsource the brain development of their newborns and toddlers. The reason behind such outsourcing is busy work life and the fear of missing out in an extremely competitive world.
Nikhil Subramaniam at INC42 covers the edtech bubble, Jaspreet Kalra, Olina Banerji, and Arundhati Ramanathan at The Ken write about Deloitte’s delay in signing off Byju’s 2021 financial statements, Rajiv Singh of Forbes India staff write about the collapse of Udayy, but these all are discussions that meet the naked eye.
But today, StartuptoEnterprise.com adds the subliminal escaped by the edtech industry in India for long beneath all things obvious. Here it is, accountability of child-sensitive data they extract through heatmap analysis generated from the child’s interaction with the edtech devices they use, such as the iPad.
Technically, these edtech companies owe to the parents and to the future of these children their privacy, the cost of privacy, and a suitable penalty for not disclosing in public the extraction of data without consent. Equity investors might forego their money when an edtech startup wraps up in a loss, but parents must know that their children-sensitive behavioral data was used without their consent to develop their product, raise funds, engineer marketing tactics and overall sell ice to an Eskimo.
Understanding Heat Map Analysis
In the late 1800s, Toussaint Loua used Heat Maps to depict social demographic changes in Paris. Early in the ’90s, software designer Cormac Kinney trademarked computer heat mapping technology to display real-time financial market data graphically. Humans prefer the rainbow of all color schemes for extended visualization.
Today, these tech startups use heatmaps to track user behavior through click, scroll, engagement and more. This is applicable for websites and touch screen devices. Among the 8-9 known types of heatmaps, Click maps and scroll maps are the most popular, helping UX designers, marketers, analysts, and product teams design and improve products.
How Can EdTech Companies Use Heat Map Data?
The 8 types of heat maps are broadly categorized into two categories such as interaction and attention heatmaps. While Interaction heatmaps are used to record user-website interactions such as clicks, scrolls, and mouse movements in interaction heatmaps, Attention heatmaps are complex. They use eye-tracking or eye movement prediction to track how visitors view your website content. Heatmaps are technically the truest picture of user behavior. EyeQuant and Attention Insight scan generate heatmaps based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and eye-tracking technology that reveals how likely a user is to pay attention to your website with 95% accuracy.
Heatmaps for Edtech Marketers & Digital Analysts
A heatmap represents a page’s or an advertisement’s most popular and least popular sections. Using this information, you can place the most important elements on the page, like a special offer or a CTA button. Analysts can use this data to fill in the gaps often left out of analyses, resulting in more actionable insights and better business outcomes. It is possible to combine qualitative and quantitative data in new ways by using heat maps. The information provided by heat mapping tools goes far beyond counting the number of times a button has been clicked.
How does Heat Map Study Exploit Child Sensitive Data?
Now that the idea about heatmap analysis is clear consider it a technology to track children from age 0 to 6. So, if a child enjoys a certain puzzle on an iPad sold by an edtech company is not because your child enjoys a great course developed for empowering right brain function but because the puzzle has been designed to manipulate the child’s interest.
The 0 to 6 years of age group is vulnerable. Founders of these brain development or skill development edtech companies in India got their brains developed without these apps. So, resisting nature shaping the brain development of the age group is an offensive intrusion into the lives of children in their formative years.
The left brain and right brain divide is a scam. It is a full brain that is at work. What might appear seemingly innocuous, such as a 7-month-old playing on an iPad to develop their right brain, is a sophisticated marketing gimmick to sell an illusion labeled “cognitive neuroscience.” These devices track behavioral data not available in the market of database leakage.
How much time does a child on the autism spectrum take to interact with a piece of a puzzle? How much dyslexic is a child, or what can control a child with ADHD? And more nuanced data is extracted through heatmap analysis without a parent’s written consent or legal disclosures on websites. These edtechs say that it helps them train their product but isn’t there a cost to acquiring training data? Are edtech startups in India paying the parents for that? Rather, parents are exploited financially.
What happens when a star dies? Too far-fetched? Then let’s understand what happens to child-sensitive behavioral data when leaked? What happens to data depicting a child’s vulnerabilities before their parents or concerned physicians know of their brain health? Remember, this is not regular database information; it is behavioral information used to target parents, manipulate natural brain reflex and eye health, and might as well target these children 20 years from today to their adulthood in a data-dense jungle. In India’s absence of data laws, parents need to ask these edtech founders about the disposal of behavioral data. If need be, ask for a refund, or sue for a penalty.
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