Earlier this year, revelations about the Department of Justice spying on the Associated Press were quickly followed by revelations that the NSA was collecting phone data on all Verizon, and then all American cell phone, users. Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing drew yet more attention to the issue, and domestic surveillance programs have remained a top issue in people’s minds ever since.
While Americans focus on institutions like the CIA and NSA, though, programs are being implemented which would lead to a much more institutional way of tracking citizens. Obamacare is one of these, but Common Core Standards – the federal educational program – is the most eyebrow-raising.
Bill Gates was one of the leaders of Common Core, putting his personal money into its development, implementation and promotion, so it’s unsurprising that much of this data mining will occur via Microsoft’s Cloud system.
Even the Department of Education, though, admits that privacy is a concern, and that that some of the data gathered may be “of a sensitive nature.” The information collected will be more than sensitive; much of it will also be completely unrelated to education. Data collected will not only include grades, test scores, name, date of birth and social security number, it will also include parents’ political affiliations, individual or familial mental or psychological problems, beliefs, religious practices and income.
In addition, all activities, as well as those deemed demeaning, self-incriminating or anti-social, will be stored in students’ school records. In other words, not only will permanently stored data reflect criminal activities, it will also reflect bullying or anything perceived as abnormal. The mere fact that the White House notes the program can be used to “automatically demonstrate proof of competency in a work setting” means such data is intended to affect students’ futures.
Read more at BenSwann.com. By Joshua Cook.
Photo credit: waif69 (Creative Commons)
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