Corporations Snatch Education Data
There’s a whole group of private companies capturing, harvesting and studying your child’s education data. And thanks to federal privacy laws, law enforcement officials can’t do anything about it.
Companies like Bill Gates’ In-Bloom, McGraw Hill’s Connect - ED. Even Barack Obama’s ED-EX, are all offering certificates for students to hang on the refrigerator at home in exchange for their sensitive, private education data.
At the doctor’s office, your medical records are considered private. HIPAA laws demand it. But when you travel over into the education sector, the lines start to blur. It’s actually against the law for a school or a teacher to share a student’s educational data, as long as they’re under 18. But since the Education Department expanded their privacy allowances in 2012, new loopholes allow corporations and government programs to share and monetize your child’s information. That very same, important information that COULD lead to them getting accepted into college, or chasing their desired career path. Now, a growing number of parents are starting to realize how colleges are trying to make money by tricking their children, and they’re not too happy about it.
It starts out looking like an open, online course. Some of these courses are even available in local high schools. But when a teenage student logs on, they’re quickly asked to enter personal information in exchange for advanced placement coursework or college level certifications. What we’re starting to find out, is these students aren’t just handing out their name and email address, they’re also giving universities and private corporations their IP address, birth dates, drivers license information and a whole host of data about their educational inclinations, strengths and weaknesses.
As more parents start to realize how these corporations are exploiting and manipulating their children, they’re starting to gain a louder, more influential voice. In fact, outcry from upset parents killed the student database funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation just about one year after it’s inception. The 100 MILLION dollar project bit the dust after parents objected.
Now, even the White House is getting in on the action, promising completion certificates to low income high school students if they cooperate and take their special class. But critics accuse Obama’s program of being nothing more than a well-choreographed advertisement used to harvest individualized education data, and trick students into handing over their private information.
The evolution of federal privacy laws continues to be one of the most intriguing stories coming out of Washington DC. We’ll keep a close eye on them, and keep you updated as we continue to learn more.