Education Department Database Leaks

Joy Pullman of the Heartland Institute wrote an op-ed published in the Washington Examiner showing how education departments are now leaking confidential student information.

Nine states have sent dossiers on students —including names, Social Security numbers, hobbies, addresses, test scores, attendance, career goals, and attitudes about school —to a public-private database, according to Reuters. Standardized tests are beginning to incorporate psychological and behavioral assessment. Every state is also building databases to collect and share such information among agencies and companies, and the U.S. Department of Education has recently reinterpreted federal privacy laws so that schools and governments don’t have to tell parents their kids’ information has been shared.

Because the U.S. Department of Education has unilaterally knocked down federal privacy protections, lawmakers need to rebuild that wall. Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, New York and Oregon are a few states considering such legislation. They should act swiftly, and so should others.

It has been shown that Bill Gates has spend $100 million in setting up a national database to track students. This excellent article at World Net Daily does a great job exposing Gates as someone who publicly talks about privacy rights but then his own product says it can’t guarantee the safety of the data within the system.

Please contact your Utah lawmakers and ask them to protect our students from these violations of privacy. Confidential, personally identifiable information, must be kept secure at the school level and never passed up to a database. It should be a felony for local school officials to send personally identifiable information outside the school, up to the state or any other entity, without the express written permission of parents.

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