Data Mining Your Children

An entire generation is growing up not knowing what it is to be completely anonymous. Inevitably, this will lead to a net negative outcome. Maybe sooner, maybe later. Parents who create social profile pages for their unborn children through some form of misplaced sense of sentimentality are part of the problem. Defences from companies includes the standard strawman, such as: “You don’t want your child to be tracked by third-party companies for learning purposes? Are you trying to make your child dumb?”

“Knewton CEO Jose Ferreira finds such concerns overblown. When parents protest that they don’t want their children data-mined, Ferreira wishes he could ask them why: Is it simply that they don’t want a for-profit company to map their kids’ minds? If not, why not? “They’d rather the NSA have it?” he asked. “What, you trust the government?” Ferreira said he often hears parents angrily declaring that their children cannot be reduced to data points. “That’s not an argument,” Ferreira said. “I’m not calling your child a bundle of data. I’m just helping her learn.”

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