Jun 012013
 
 June 1, 2013  Surveillance, U.S., Youth & Schools

I never thought I’d be in complete agreement with Michelle Malkin on anything, but I do agree with what she wrote in a column on the iris scanning outrage in three Florida school districts. You can read her column here.

Sadly, I think too many American parents continue to be too complacent when it comes to asserting and protecting their children’s privacy in the education arena. While “good parents” have started to look at what goes on online, the greater threat, I think, lies in the huge databases containing much sensitive information that is being increasingly shared between schools and others.  It’s all legal, of course, until the courts take EPIC’s lawsuit against the Dept. of Education seriously and recognize that the new regulations they promulgated go far beyond what the law authorized them to do.

So if you’re worried about your kid’s future, take a look at what’s going on in the schools and the data-mining and data sharing that’s taking place. Then speak up, dammit, and get active to protect your children.  Don’t know where to start? You might start by informing yourself more by reading some of the great materials Sheila Kaplan has compiled on EducationNewYork.com.  Sheila’s materials are not just about NY, even though she’s active on NYS legislative issues.

Read. Take action. You’ll thank me down the road, if I’m still around. 🙂

  One Response to “Who’s tracking your children?”

  1. Oh my…I never thought that I would agree with Malkin so completely as well. Let me relay a personal tale. Over a decade ago I worked for an education software company. Our flagship learning management system was sold to the Miami-Dade school system. This was a huge deal for us as they were one of the largest school systems in the nation. I was the database developer on the project. As such one of my tasks was to improve the function which imported student data into our software as it currently took entirely too long and Miami-Dade had over 300,000 students. I came up with the improved tool, but I needed a way to test it. I asked for a sample set of files from Miami-Dade so that I would know what to expect. Well, they kindly supplied the real set of files to me in Excel spreadsheets via email. When I looked at the files that they cavalierly sent to me I had a moment where I wanted to slam my forehead against a wall. Included in that data was the student’s name, address, phone number, parent’s name, etc. Also included was the student ID number. You may have guessed already…the student ID number was their social security number. Did I mention these spreadsheets were sent via email unencrypted?

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