Stephanie Simon has written a startling story about the corporations that are collecting information about your child. This is known as data mining, and it usually occurs without the subject’s knowledge or consent. One such corporation called inBloom went out of business because of parent concern about privacy. But there are many others doing the same work with less scrutiny.

She writes:

“The NSA has nothing on the ed tech startup known as Knewton.

“The data analytics firm has peered into the brains of more than 4 million students across the country. By monitoring every mouse click, every keystroke, every split-second hesitation as children work through digital textbooks, Knewton is able to find out not just what individual kids know, but how they think. It can tell who has trouble focusing on science before lunch — and who will struggle with fractions next Thursday.

And she adds:

“The amount of data being collected is staggering. Ed tech companies of all sizes, from basement startups to global conglomerates, have jumped into the game. The most adept are scooping up as many as 10 million unique data points on each child, each day. That’s orders of magnitude more data than Netflix or Facebook or even Google collect on their users.”

Read more:

“Even as Congress moves to rein in the National Security Agency, private-sector data mining has galloped forward — perhaps nowhere faster than in education. Both Republicans and Democrats have embraced the practice. And the Obama administration has encouraged it, even relaxing federal privacy law to allow school districts to share student data more widely.”

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