by DR. SUSAN BERRY 18 Apr 2017
A new report finds that, under the guise of “personalized learning,” school-issued computer devices — now distributed to one-third of K-12 students in schools across the United States — are serving to collect and store an unprecedented amount of personal data on children without their parents’ notice or consent.
A newly released investigation by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reveals student use of technology in school has grown at a profound rate, especially with free or low-fee devices issued by schools.
The education technology industry, according to the report, is now valued at over $8 billion.
Approximately half of the devices issued to U.S. children are Google Chromebooks, with about 30 million students, teachers, and school officials using Google’s G Suite for Education, observes EFF.
Student information collected by education technology services through these devices includes not only personally identifying information (PII) – such as name and date of birth – but also browsing history, location information, contact lists, and behavioral data.
data is also often automatically uploaded to the cloud – all without the knowledge of parents.
In 2012, Jose Ferreira, CEO of ed tech company Knewton, observed in a video at the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Educational Technology, “Education happens to be, today, the world’s most data mineable industry by far… Education beats everything else, hands down.”
Because the data collected is labeled necessary for “individualized” instruction, parents who do become aware of the mining and wish to have their children opt out of the collection are often unable to do so. In fact, many of these parents are painted as “paranoid” and behind the times.
“We were given no information about our first-grader receiving a tablet this year,” one Maryland parent responded to EFF’s parent survey regarding transparency. “And when we ask questions, there is little information given at every level.”
“I have never received any written policy about how many apps the school uses and how they collect student data,” a North Carolina charter school parent said in response to EFF’s survey. She added:
The district maintains a website for parents to obtain information regarding technology in the classroom, but I have not found anything there about student privacy. When we asked for the apps that the school was using, we were hoping to see in writing what they’re using. Instead, we got a short, verbal list—but when we look at our son’s iPad, we see a lot more programs than what they told us about.
The report addresses ed tech companies’ failure to regulate themselves with regard to student data privacy as well as the major loophole in the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Full Article: https://www.google.com/amp/www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/17/report-school-computers-spy-children-no-parental-consent/amp/