Oct. 6, 2011
Ms. Smith, The Privacy and Security Fanatic, digs into the privacy nightmare that our schools are becoming and informs us about “another particularly invasive security idea being pitched to universities as a “crystal ball” to stop future violence — to data mine and analyze all college students’ online activities.”
It is not uncommon for schools to be equipped with metal detectors, cameras for video surveillance, motion detectors, RFID badge tracking, computer programs to check school visitors against sex offender lists, and infrared systems to track body heat after school hours and potentially hunt down intruders. No parent ever wants any possibility of a school tragedy, so other biometric systems in the name of security have been introduced. Iris recognition and fingerprint scans are being used to monitor students’ Internet usage. Now there is a particularly invasive idea being pitched to universities as a “crystal ball” to stop future violence by data mining and analyzing all college students’ online activities.
In K – 12 schools, “new military and corrections technologies are quietly moving into the classroom with little oversight.” It’s making our schools a “fertile ground for prison tech,” Mother Jones reported. “For millions of children, being scanned and monitored has become as much a part of their daily education as learning to read and write.” All of this surveillance is supposed to keep students safe, but there are some states that would like to dump public school surveillance data into federally-funded fusion centers.