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Schools across the country are trying out a new computer program to help manage their students he's -- -- Internet that is cloud -- -- give schools the ability to bring together a whole host of information on kids -- Not just grades and attendance the school say the systems improve education but some parents say it throws privacy out the window.
With us now attorney except -- -- -- -- great to see you tell us what is the information is being collected here.
These are systems led by a handful of companies such as in -- that are basically huge data clouds that are descending on -- to try to collect a whole bunch of data.
About kids everything from grades in classes to other potential and it's possibly in basic categories like.
Related medical information disciplinary information and it's raising some situations -- benefits but also risks.
So who's gonna have access to this the parents are asking do vendors have access.
You know let me tell yet.
When I was in high school anybody who wander into the principal's office and go through rifled through the -- anything -- air act it seems to me that this met this information go anywhere.
That's really the big controversy here you've got basically an interaction of two problems that -- bouncing off each other on the legal side you have a whole host of privacy related laws.
Your privacy related laws for protection of educational based information.
Your privacy laws based upon protection of personal and health related information however you have a cloud you have -- vulnerable potential system where hackers could get in.
Than their parents that are concerned that sponsors could come in and tried it.
Get a hold of that data as well so very controversial step in the healthcare field we've seen -- -- a lot do very little to protect the health care information about individuals and it's supposed to do that.
Seems like the -- -- an effective.
While that's a really big problem here that's why parents are concerned and they're asking.
Do we even get a say in this we have do you have any consent to we have to wave in a -- out of it but the real problem here is that you could have local bureaucrats and a school system that once they make a determination that they're going to be running the -- -- parents may really have no say at all.
So there are a number of hearings in a lot of situations -- Various legislatures throughout the United States including a lot of activity going on in Boston but the very issue that you've identified.
Well I wanna read -- -- statement from one of the companies that's involved in this sizes from in -- They say vendors have no access to student records through in bloom and -- are authorized by state or district with legal authority over those records.
Emblem has no ownership of student records -- in -- nor any other participating agency your vendor may -- -- police are commercially exploit.
Confidential student day yeah.
You know they may not opponent but it passes through their -- right.
Well that's right plus they're passing the ball over to the school district so that's a very clever way of saying.
Look to your local school district they're the ones that on the pipeline well what if there and some kind of a fiscal difficulty and then Disney wants to come in and say look.
We will help fund this if you let us have access and we can allow social media so you can see that there is a lot of balancing going on right here between the educational benefits.
In the privacy of our kids and their data.
Wow and you know -- parents themselves might sign off on something like that if it meant more money for the school district.
But other parents are saying and look -- I understand this.
You know kids develop problems sometimes and to have that in your record.
We'll follow you for your entire educational career and that may be something that parents don't won't.
That's right and now you have something that's going to go at least K through twelve.
Where it's in the system.
But the federal -- and then we won't get too wrapped in the ways that's a federal law called for but.
That guarantees and provide certain instances where you can't get access that information will now -- putting it in a cloud and we've seen.
A lot of situations lately about the vulnerability of these kinds of system so.
Technology has leapt ahead of federal statutes -- -- parents are very concerned and it really is a potential.
Problem you know parents feel like they should be able to opt out of these systems and I tend to agree.
But it could put them in the backseat for their kids' education I mean if you're not participating.
What everybody else is doing.
You know put your kid behind somehow what do you say sat.
That's that's exactly right and that's really the dilemma I think that ultimately how this is gonna blend in -- that.
I think -- -- identifying a very important story that's the trend of the future these companies are gonna come in.
These data clouds will descend upon the schools and what we need to do is identify this important debate.
To put together the benefits -- the efficiencies.
Along with the privacy concerns and if you can blend those together then you have a system that really might help.
To protect children and bring them along in the educational process -- -- topic I know parents all over the country -- listening to every word you say set thanks for coming on.
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