No consent. No disclosure. No escape.
For legions of unwitting students and teachers across the country, this is the dangerous, de facto data policy Google has imposed over their school districts. An estimated 80 million students and teachers are now signed up for free "G Suite for Education" accounts (formerly known as Google Apps for Education); more than 25 million students and teachers now use Google Chromebooks. A Google logon is the key to accessing homework, quizzes, tests, group discussions, presentations, spreadsheets and other "seamless communication." Without it, students and teachers are locked out of their own virtual classrooms.
Local administrators, dazzled by "digital learning initiatives" and shiny tech toys, have sold out vulnerable children to Silicon Valley. Educators and parents who expose and oppose this alarmingly intrusive regime are mocked and marginalized. And Beltway politicians, who are holding Senate hearings this week on Big Tech's consumer privacy breaches, remain clueless or complicit in the wholesale hijacking of school-age kids' personally identifiable information for endless data mining and future profit.
Over the past several years, I've reported in my column and CRTV.com investigative program on edutech plundering the personal data and browsing habits of millions of American schoolchildren. Remember: State and federal educational databases provide countless opportunities for private companies exploiting public schoolchildren subjected to annual assessments, which exploded after the adoption of the tech industry-supported Common Core "standards," tests and aligned texts and curricula. The Every Student Succeeds Act further enshrined government collection of personally identifiable information — including data collected on attitudes, values, beliefs and dispositions — and allows release of the data to third-party contractors thanks to Obama-era loopholes carved into the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.