Kids shouldn’t have to sacrifice privacy for education
This year, the media has exposed a string of harms to individual privacy by the technology sector’s leading firms. But policymakers must intervene specifically to protect the most vulnerable people in our society: children. Their behavioral data is continuously suctioned up by technology firms through tablets, smartphones and computers and is at risk of being misused.
Concerns over illegitimate sharing of and access to student data have been raised by parent groups, consumer watchdogs, and privacy advocates, many of whom have begun public awareness campaigns and legal battles. They’re rightly worried, for example, about the fairness of college admissions processes that rely on student data profiles shared by personalized learning companies. Similarly, parents are concerned about the dispensation of financial awards including scholarships that are influenced by data that children have provided in surveys. In some cases the information doesn’t include just things like grades and test scores but also covers categories like race, religion, address and whether they have “impairments” like H.I.V. or depression.