A study by Center for Information Technology Information (CITP) shows that 95% of public and private schools are using third party businesses to provide the technology and services needed to obtain student’s information and store that information in a cloud. This collected information includes:
- Health records
- Height, weight, eye color…etc.
- Test results
- Real time location while in travel to and from school. Also includes location while in the schools supervision.
- Social security number
- Key strokes
Believe it or not, there are schools using technology to record student’s:
- Blood pressure
- Brain scans
- Body posture….and more!
Here’s a video that’s shows the speakers at CITP giving their opinions about their study on Schools and Study Data Privacy –
Here’s just one of the hundreds of companies that are providing data mining services to our schools. I actually agree that it sounds like a good idea to know where my son or daughter is while he/she is at school, but if you go to the advertising tab you will see they are proving there is a sinister side of this monitoring/tracking. It proves they are developing a system that is used by advertisers to profit, via our children’s location and information. This is just a small example of this privacy and personal data infringement. Here’s an article from the Business Insider that gives details about the relationships of donors, schools, and private companies.
Please check out our other articles pertaining to data mining – Common Core Standards – Data Collection and Mining and Common Core Data Mining and FERPA
Here’s a statement by the Modern School Blog –
Proponents claim the project will improve “personalized” learning, which is just another vapid reform that sounds wonderful, but means little. Everyone wants their child’s personal needs and interests to be directly and meticulously addressed, but this is not something that can be accomplished through data mining. Consider how much smarter and productive you have become as a result of the advertisements Google and Amazon have directed to you as a result of their data mining. Even when they hit the nail on the head, the consequence is that you might buy something you might not have otherwise considered buying, not any kind of significant leg up on your peers. Furthermore, that product may be of dubious quality because you lacked the time to research it or test it before purchasing it and it was so easy to just click the purchase button.
While it is certainly possible that some educationally sound products will appear as pop ups on parents’, teachers’ or children’s screens, the overwhelming majority will likely be garbage (like the majority of non-digital canned curriculum). Furthermore, all will come at a cost (e.g., subscription price, future commitment, more pop ups and advertisements encouraging children to whine and beg mommy to buy something else). Plus, with all the fundraisers and other things parents already have to purchase for their children’s free public education, why should they have to buy more? Just because Bill Gates or some other huckster says it’s good for you and they have the data to back it up, they do not have any credible data that their snake oil actually works. In fact, the only thing their data can show is that there may be a need or interest.
Parents probably do not want their children’s disciplinary records, special education status, or counselor’s notes, in the hands of strangers or entrepreneurs whose only goal is to exploit this information to make a buck. In the pre-digital days, this kind of information would have been considered protected by counselor/client privilege. Even today, school counselors do not tell teachers the details of a student’s personal problems at home, as this would violate the student’s privacy, yet this same information, once entered into the database, could be transferred to any number of private companies without the counselor’s, child’s or parent’s consent.
InBloom, a 3-month-old database, is funded primarily by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. built the infrastructure for the new electronic portal. New York Civil Liberties Union had this to say –
“Turning massive amounts of personal data about public school students to a private corporation without any public input is profoundly disturbing and irresponsible”
These schools are following standards created by private companies called the P-20 Longitudinal Data System. P-20 is a shared student data collection program that refers to the period between pre-K and workforce entry. P-20 will let researchers determine what drives academic and workforce success and failure as colleges and other state agencies share data. Students can be tracked from preschool to college to the workforce and, potentially, throughout their lives. Lawmakers and critics urged the states to let parents opt out of the system, and lawmakers have submitted bills to require parental consent before data is released to a third-party vendor.
This is very disturbing to say the least. Our government has turned our educational system into a market place for private businesses to profit. Please be aware of what information is being collected from your children and make their school realize you are very concerned about your child’s data being collected and sold without your knowledge or consent.