FTC, Department of Education Announce Workshop to Explore Privacy Issues Related to Education Technology
Students are in school to learn, not to feed data miners with information. Among just a few of student privacy issues that they should never even be asked about (not even as in optional, voluntary, or extra credit questions) for the purposes of gleaning data: 1. Anything about their activities outside of school 2. Anything about their sexuality or gender identity 3. Anything about their family. (if there is suspicion of abuse or the child has volunteered suspicious information, then turn it over to social workers or the police... the information is not to be part of a data mining operation). 4. Anything about family income, purchasing habits, or class standing. 5. Anything about participation in criminal activities. If there are suspicions, then turn it over to the police, but do not include such information in any data mining operation. 6. Anything about their political views 7. Anything about drinking, drugs, or smoking habits. If a child needs intervention, then turn the case over to appropriate medical resources, but the information should not be part of a data mining operation. 8. Anything about their medical history or physical or mental health. I understand that certain information is needed by school administration to oversee any medical condition the child may have, but as far as gleaning such information for data mining purposes, absolutely not. 9. Any questionnaires or surveys that are not teaching a student a concept that the child specifically needs to know, but is instead designed to mine data from the student, is absolutely not acceptable. 10. Test and exam questions should not be written in a manner to trick students into accepting a political, social, or propaganda ideas that they disagree with and should always allow for alternative answers if the multiple choice options available do not sufficiently express the reasons a student may not agree with any of them. Likewise, students should not be penalized for questions that have a subjective nature and personal opinions that may differ from social indoctrination agendas. There may be plenty of occasions that students may have opportunities to share their personal backgrounds, beliefs, or other personal information by way of writing assignments or voluntarily offered through the course of their choice in writing topics, but under no circumstances should any of that information be gleaned for data mining purposes. Students should be able to safely express their thoughts without censure, punishment, or concerns about who their personal information is going to be shared with. Their assignments should never be considered the property of the school, school district, or government, to distribute to whomever they wish. Anything a student shares that is concerning should first be addressed with the student and the student's parents, and necessary resources, but should never be considered as fodder to feed data mining operations. As mentioned in the first sentence, the students are in school to learn, not to be used a tools and information resources for data mining operations. Shame on any government, school system, or benefactor that would use students for their own ends.