Student Privacy

Threat to Student Privacy

In June of 2013, a short article appeared in the Chicago Tribune - “States Quit School Data Plan Amid Parents’ Privacy Fears”. This immediately caught our attention. We learned that a database was being developed by a non-profit organization called inBloom and that this project was being underwritten by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at a cost of $100 million. We protecting-your-computeralso learned that many of the states that had originally signed on to participate in this project had withdrawn out of concern for student privacy.

The database purports to track around 400 different data points. Many are things that the school already tracks such as name, birthdate, test scores. But it is also tracking more sensitive data points; things such as disciplinary records, learning disabilities, IEP, health records, even teachers’ assessments of a child’s character. Moreover, it is a “longitudinal” database which means it tracks data over time. The stated purpose is to “improve learning outcomes”. All this data will be combined into a computerized dashboard. The individual teacher should be able to pull up all this data; identify individual student problems; and adjust teaching methods.

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How the US Collects Data

Link to the article from War Resisters International about how the U.S. collects data on potential recruits.

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