Free children from the digital stranglehold
2022-07-23, 20:00–20:50, Clairvoyance 🔮

The current digital educational system is dominated by tech giants. Fundamental rights, like the privacy, freedom and sovereignty of children, parents and educators are insufficiently secured. Ed-tech is mainly closed source and full of vendor lockins. Products are either overpriced, harvesting data, or both. The time to replace surveillance capitalist based Ed-tech by ethical open source alternatives is now. And our coalition for fair digital education is going to do it.

Private companies do not have the same interests as public institutions like schools. Schools do not have the time, knowledge or budget to hack their own IT environment together. Hence, BigTech and Ed-Tech fix this problem for schools, by offering services that have a very low price tag in euro's, but the actual payment is in data: meta data, "service"-data and user-data. DPIA you say? (Detailed Privacy Impact Analysis) That will achieve sort-of-legally compliant services at max. If only the authorities would actually bite, but alas, enforcement is lax, and four years of GDPR and the IT environment in schools is still riddled with privacy risks. Essential online services are out-of-scope of the DPIA's and purposes like "product improvement" (read: feeding AI and machine learning algorithms) is GDPR-Okay. If you or your kid goes to a 'Google school' and is forced to use a Chromebook, you'll be producing data to train Google, and you will be trained to love Google services. Consequently children won't develop core digital skills or a critical attitude toward digital services.

Thus, there is a huge gap between core values of big tech companies versus public values in the educational system. Therefore, enforcement to make Big Tech embrace those public values will never be effective. ​​​​​​​That is why we need to build a school IT environment based upon public values: transparent, open source, privacy-by-design, decentralized, fair and respecting our digital sovereignty. Our coalition for fair digital education is going to build this. This is a huge project and a lot of work, so join us.

In my day job I work as a freelance network designer, mainly for large enterprises and telco's. I dedicate my spare time to restore sovereignty and freedom in the digital domain. I'm one of the initiators of 'The Coalition for Fair Digital Education’ (in Dutch: CEDO2022) – (this collation in not related to any political party). See

I am also coordinator of the Pirate party of Delft that works together with student-party STIP - the largest coalition party in Delft. Our goal is to make sure that Delft switches to open source and privacy-by-design solutions and publishes all non-private data as open data. See