No Child Left Un-Mined? Student Privacy at Risk in the Age of Big Data

Data mining begins early in schools, often through indifference and technology illiteracy. The education vendors offer discounted or cheap software packages or online systems, in return for having a trove of data points on students as they learn through the years – invaluable to advertisers later (through the miracle of fluid privacy policies). The sad part is that the students have no say, or are too young to understand the trade-offs involved.

On a related note, parents who create social media profiles for their children and spew out unlimited updates, please stop. Let’s be realistic, nobody really cares, and you’re doing your child a huge disservice in their future life – they’ve been sold out, for your own selfish ego-stroking.

“I was concerned about inBloom because they were going to aggregate student data from at least 9 states [and seek more state partners], and put it into an easily digestible form, offering contracts to vendors who created educational products. But,” she adds, “you can’t expect vendors to tell parents what they’re doing. You need the schools and the districts to take responsibility for telling them what data is being shared for what reason and what conditions.”

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