When your district uses technology vendors, there is a certain amount of data extracted from your child. Rarely do parents read the privacy statements by vendors, but even if they did, they’d discover that the privacy agreement isn’t exactly private.
There are always ways for the technology vendor to extract data on your child and share it. Data is gold now, and it’s the way for technology companies to build a digital portfolio on your kids. I bet you had no idea–it’s not like they tell you any of this.
You can see what software they are using in your school district here.
Cheri Kiesecker, a data-security expert has been actively warning parents about the data mining that is happening in schools across America. So when she posted about Naviance and Powerschool, I figured I’d share that information too.
Cheri wrote on her Facebook page:
Does your school use Naviance or PowerSchool?
Vista Equity Partners owns both PowerSchool and Naviance and A LOT of other companies. “Vista Equity Partners has been buying up software used in schools. Parents want to know what the companies do with kids’ data…Over the past six years, a little-known private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, has built an educational software empire that wields unseen influence over the educational journeys of tens of millions of children. Along the way, The Markup found, the companies the firm controls have scooped up a massive amount of very personal data on kids, which they use to fuel a suite of predictive analytics products that push the boundaries of technology’s role in education and, in some cases, raise discrimination concerns.
One district we examined uses risk-scoring algorithms from a company in the group, PowerSchool, that incorporate indicators of family wealth to predict a student’s future success—a controversial practice that parents don’t know about—raising troubling questions.”
SOURCE: This Private Equity Firm Is Amassing Companies That Collect Data on America’s Children
The data they extract goes WAAAY beyond what we could’ve guessed. “To piece together the extent of the companies’ data collection, The Markup reviewed thousands of pages of contracts, user manuals, data sharing agreements, and survey questions obtained through public records requests.
We found that the companies, collectively, gather everything from basic demographic information—entered automatically when a student enrolls in school—to data about students’ citizenship status, religious affiliation, school disciplinary records, medical diagnoses, what speed they read and type at, the full text of answers they give on tests, the pictures they draw for assignments, whether they live in a two-parent household, whether they’ve used drugs, been the victim of a crime, or expressed interest in LGBTQ+ groups, among #hundreds of other data points….”
It’s almost like they are building a dossier on your children. Actually, that’s exactly what they are doing.
Cheri then suggests that everyone look through these documents that were uncovered through a FOIA.
Your district administrators may not even be aware of how these Ed-Tech companies are data-mining sensitive and personal information on your children and your family. It would be a good idea to take this information to your local school board meeting and introduce this during public comments so they are entered into the minutes.
Request the administration and technology team begin a deep dive on all of the technology used in the district. Yes, it can make their job easier, but what price do you pay for that?
If district administrators demanded TRUE privacy agreements with vendors, maybe they would get the hint that your child’s personal information is not for sale. Although it’s not really sold, they give it away for free.
I’ve been warning parents for about a decade that these Ed-Tech companies are building dossiers on your children. You have no idea how that information will be shared and who will have access to it. Considering there is a market for selling data, their personal information is up to the highest bidder.
Will that bidder be a future potential employer? Will it be a college or university ? Will it be the military if your child wants to enlist?
You won’t even know what they’ve gathered on your child. Maybe your child’s behavior records. Maybe it’s information on their political views. In this case, you can’t get hired as a teacher unless you exhibit the proper woke attitudes. In other words, what EdTech gathers can be used against them at some point in their lives.
Good luck with that.
MORE ON NAVIANCE:
“Perhaps the poster-child for the lack of accountability to which Student Privacy Pledge signatories are held is Naviance by Hobsons — an Ed-Tech provider used by middle, high school, and college students that collects dates of birth, ethnicity, and other sensitive data — having reported at least three data breaches in 2019 alone. The first was a data breach in Virginia, involving sensitive information of 21 former students; the second was a breach in Pennsylvania involving 12,000 students, and the third involved close to 6,000 students attending Montgomery County, Md., public schools. With three breaches in a single year, one could argue that Naviance is not compliant with the pledge’s commitment to “[m]aintain a comprehensive security program that is reasonably designed to protect the security, privacy, confidentiality, and integrity of student personal information against risks.”