Just this week, SafeGov.org, a computer privacy watchdog group, reported that Google has admitted in recent court filings that "it data mines student emails for ad-targeting purposes outside of school, even when ad serving in school is turned off." The newly exposed documents explicitly "confirm in a sworn public court declaration that even when ad serving is turned off in Google Apps for Education (GAFE), the contents of users' emails are still being scanned by Google in order to target ads at those same users when they use the web outside of Google Apps (for example, when watching a YouTube video, conducting a Google search, or viewing a web page that contains a Google+ or DoubleClick cookie)." Last month, I reported on how Google is building brand loyalty through a questionable GAFE certification program that essentially turns teachers into tax-subsidized lobbyists for the company.
In New York, opposition from left, right and center has forced education bureaucrats to delay uploading personally identifiable student information to the Common Core-linked inBloom data cloud, a partnership of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
In Colorado, Jefferson County families from both sides of the political aisle forced the district to withdraw from a meddling inBloom pilot project adopted without parental consent.
As I've explained before, the exploding multibillion-dollar education technology sector is driven by Common Core's top-down digital learning and testing mandates. Remember: Under the Obama administration, Grand Canyon-sized loopholes in the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act have already opened data mining of students' personally identifiable information (Social Security numbers, disciplinary records, biometric data, etc.) to third-party private entities.
Dr. Gary Thomson of the Utah-based Early Life Child Psychology and Education Center, a father of four and a clinical psychologist, is asking the fundamental questions politicians refuse to ask -- and continue to scorn -- regarding the Common Core-driven data collection:
--"For what EXACT purpose will this sensitive data be utilized?"
-- "What organizations will have access to identifiable academic records? Other than generic information regarding race, age, gender and geographic location, why does the federal database require identifiable information to be accessible?"
--"If the political responses to these questions are 'all information contained in the database is unidentifiable and security stored,' then why were changes made to FERPA to allow an exemption to educational privacy rights when it comes to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards?"
When politicians want to evade accountability, they go on the attack. They don't loathe anti-Common Core parents because they're "paranoid." They fear them because "paranoid" is the political demagogue's word for active, alert and well-informed.