Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. They laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work digging out the truth. Please support this independent journalism today by donating to our critical Fall Campaign. We cannot do it without you. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Jen Persson, Defenddigitalme: Jen@defenddigitalme.com
David Monahan, CCFC: david@commercialfreechildhood.org

Press Release

Advocates Worldwide Call to Protect Children from Edtech Exploitation

LONDON / BOSTON -

Today, 33 human rights and consumer groups from all over the world called on governments and the education sector to protect children from commercial exploitation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An estimated 90% of the world’s student population are affected by school closures. The signatories — organized by Defend digital me and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) — recognise that technology is playing a vital role worldwide in supporting learning and the delivery of school-home communication. 

In a joint statement, the advocacy groups propose actions to make sure that this global rush to deliver emergency instruction online does not undermine children’s rights, with lasting effects long after lockdowns are over.

The groups ask data protection authorities to co-operate globally to publish guidelines, monitor practice, and enforce compliance of e-learning platforms, children’s apps and other edtech. They urge policymakers to consider the impacts of the use of digital tools; to conduct and publish children’s rights’ and data protection impact assessments; and to ensure that staff, children, and families are given training with regard to privacy and security.

The coalition calls on decision makers to take responsibility for any products they procure or recommend, and to require companies to demonstrate that they uphold children’s rights as recognised by the United Nations, and offer a secure space for all children to access knowledge without commercial interference.

Jen Persson, Director, defenddigitalme:
“Making rights’ respecting choices now, and for our children’s future, depends on cooperation across the whole sector; and understanding for the local and international frameworks of law. This unplanned crisis is pushing schools in particular to free products, whose business models often rely on opaque ways of exploiting something else for profit: pupil or staff personal data, or advertising in-app products to children or parents. Privacy is not only a right we must protect, it is a practical necessity to the development and adoption of responsible online technology, for the good of society, and for keeping children safe.”

Josh Golin, Executive Director, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood:
“It’s inspiring how families and educators have stepped up to keep kids learning in this most difficult time. But we cannot trample children’s other critical rights in the rush to provide remote learning. Tech companies should not be allowed to use this crisis to mine even more of children’s sensitive data or to expose students to marketing messages masquerading as lessons.” 

Groups signing today’s letter were: Defend digital me; Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood; Access Now; Aspiration; Badass Teachers Association; Berkeley Media Studies Group; Biometrics-in-Schools; Bolo Bhi; Child Rights International Network (CRIN); Consumer Action; Consumer Federation of America; Corporate Accountability; Digital Rights Foundation; EDRi (European Digital Rights); Educadigital Institute - Open Education Initiative; Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) Inc.; Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC); El Instituto Panameño de Derecho y Nuevas Tecnologías (IPANDETEC); Instituto Alana; New Dream; Obligation, Inc.; Open Rights Group; Parent Coalition for Student Privacy; Parents Across America; Parents Together; P.E.A.C.E. (Peace Educators Allied For Children Everywhere); Privacy International; Privacy Salon; Public Citizen; Public Knowledge; TEDIC (The Association of Technology, Education, Development, Research, Communication); TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Childhood Entertainment); and Women Leading in AI Network.

Read the coalition’s letter here.

###

Fairplay, formerly known as Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, educates the public about commercialism's impact on kids' wellbeing and advocates for the end of child-targeted marketing. Fairplay organizes parents to hold corporations accountable for their marketing practices, advocates for policies to protect kids, and works with parents and professionals to reduce children's screen time.

 

Schumer Endorses 'Inspiring Community Leader' India Walton as Buffalo's Next Mayor

The U.S. Senate majority leader's move comes as some key New York Democrats refuse to back the democratic socialist.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Who Will You Throw Overboard?' Manchin Targeted for Trying to Sink Democratic Agenda

West Virginians gathered at the senator's yacht to demand that he stop blocking the "popular and needed" Build Back Better package.

Jessica Corbett ·


'We Shouldn't Do It at All': Manchin Admits He's the Enemy of Democrats' Ambitions

The right-wing West Virginia Democrat and fossil fuel investor has previously confessed his intent to quash his own party's sweeping $3.5 trillion Build Back Better package.

Brett Wilkins ·


After Getting 'Stealth Bailout' During Pandemic, US Corporations Try to Kill Proposed Tax Hikes

"When it's time to finally put workers first, big businesses are spending millions to maintain their advantage and preserve the status quo," said Kyle Herrig of Accountable.US.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Disgraceful': Just 9 Republicans Join With Dems to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

The vote "reveals just how far the Republican Party has fallen" since Trump took control as GOP's de facto leader, said one pro-democracy advocate.

Jon Queally ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo