Obliterating What’s Left of Childhood Privacy
From preschool through high school and their careers, young Americans will now have all their data consolidated and shared by federal agencies. Thanks to years of the expanding surveillance state, data collection, and centralization of education, accelerated by an overlooked provision in President Obama’s stimulus program, everything about kids that is documented from the time they first set foot in class will be information freely shared among federal bureaucracies. Emmet McGroarty and Jane Robbins write:
Under regulations the Obama Department of Education released this month, these scenarios could become reality. The department has taken a giant step toward creating a de facto national student database that will track students by their personal information from preschool through career. Although current federal law prohibits this, the department decided to ignore Congress and, in effect, rewrite the law.
It appears that no data is safe—grades, absences, disciplinary incidents, health records, STD test results, and family income would all be fair game, for the federal government to share internally and with private businesses, without the students or parents knowing. It’s all for the sake of the children, of course.