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Schoolhouse Commercializing Trends Summary

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The digital world can be found everywhere in today’s society including the classroom. There are multiple companies with products to assist educators in engaging and/or assessing their students’ progress. The Seventeenth Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercializing Trends 2013-2014 allows the author Alex Molnar and Faith Bominger to bring attention to students’ privacy and lack of regulation by current laws. The data collected from the research demonstrated that information gathered about students from service providers were used to market products, sold to third party companies, or stored for future use. The information collected may include student’s name, social security number (SSN), IP addresses, and interest(s). Even if the student’s…show more content…
One of the first things was a “vendor-neutral data services” company called inBloom. It was founded by Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Carnegie Company Cooperation. The company claimed to protect and store data in one central location for easier access to parents, teachers, and students. Having a central location will allow for parents to have more options to be involved ad informed. Furthermore, the founders of inBloom claimed to increase student engagement. The idea is a logical next step in protecting students’ privacy. However, the critics questioned the commitment and ability of the founder to protect the student’ privacy. The critics challenged the motives of the company, Wireless Generation, built part of the infrastructure. As a response to the critics, “tt claimed that neither funders nor partners would have access to student data and that vendors would be allowed to access student records through inBloom only if the relevant state or district allowed it. With respect to data storage and disclosure, it asserted that its Data Store provided “the privacy and security functionality required by” the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); that each state and district was responsible for the security of its own students’ data; and that according to FERPA, districts may disclose personally…show more content…
An example from the report is most companies have a privacy policy in which it lets their consumers know upfront what it going to be done with their information. The policy could read that it will “not knowingly collect, use, or distribute personal information” about children under the age of 13 (Molnar and Bominger, pg. 8). This may provide parents/guardians with a false sense of security because the company may not ask the age of the consumer interacting with its
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