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Surveillance Society: Students Easy Targets for Data Miners

The growing education technology sector is selling the promise of improved student achievement through websites, apps and tools that analyze each child’s strengths and weaknesses. In doing so, though, ed tech companies are lapping up unprecedented amounts of information about students, while laws provide little protection and privacy policies vary wildly.

Some companies reveal what they learn about students and who sees that information. But a Post-Gazette study of 143 ed tech providers that serve Pennsylvania schools found that most don’t say how long they keep student data or whether it can change hands in a merger or bankruptcy, and the vast majority say nothing about how they’d handle a data breach.