Benjamin Herold of McClatchy News Service has a must-read report on student privacy and data-sharing. It begins:
Privacy advocates say the increased collection, storage, and sharing of educational data pose real threats to children and families, from identify theft to nuisance advertising, misguided profiling to increased surveillance of everyday activities.
There is even the potential for physical harm to students, alleges one Arizona legislator who authored a recently passed privacy law in response to complaints that low-income children had been subjected to unnecessary dental work by corporate-affiliated “mobile dentists” relying on easy access to school records.
Arizona state Sen. Kimberly Yee, a Republican, said inappropriate access to student records helped fuel the abuses by mobile dentists in her state and elsewhere.
ReachOut Healthcare’s practice is to “make friends with employees on [school] campuses, particularly those in administrative or nursing offices, take them to lunch, and thereafter ask for student information databases,” Ms. Yee maintained.
In response, she sponsored a bill, signed into law last year, strengthening the procedures for reporting violations related to the release of student directory information—which typically includes name, address, and phone number—to third-party vendors.
Read more on Government Technology.
Great thanks to Joe Cadillic for this link.