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Databases Education Privacy

$100 Million Student Database Worries Parents 250

asjk writes "The controversial database includes millions of children and documents their names, addresses, disabilities other statistics and demographics. Federal law allows for the files to be shared with private companies. From the article: 'In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school - even homework completion. Local education officials retain legal control over their students' information. But federal law allows them to share files in their portion of the database with private companies selling educational products and services."
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$100 Million Student Database Worries Parents

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @10:50AM (#43067499)

    The two parties need to know who and where the retarded are. They need to keep tabs on their voting bases.

  • Uhm, yea. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RevDisk ( 740008 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @11:04AM (#43067679) Journal
    Unless they have an insanely awesome security team and very rigorous employee screening, this will not end well.

    The smarter way to handle it would be to replace personal information with UIDs. School districts alone can map UIDs to actual students. It'd be relatively trivial to implement, on either side. Sure, if someone crouched the numbers hard enough, they might be able to use analysis to collate the data to individuals. But that'd be enough to keep random stalkers, pedos, abusive parent with a restraining order against them, etc at bay.

    If I was the non-profit running the DB, I'd be strongly pushing for something like that to absolve me of the liability and risk. Less persistent threats if the data is only useful to the student, school and statistics folks. The data, especially anonymized, would be VERY useful for curriculum research and development.

The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky