ESP solutions and data
How can Chris Nicastro truthfully state that DESE has “no intention” of gathering more student data? The request for 1297 data points proves her wrong. Is the RFP a precursor of DESE becoming a “service provider” vs a state agency directing educational policy/direction?

Whatever could go wrong with the data capturing and tracking of students?  This article from the NY Times about data tracking of adults gives us a glimpse of concerns of data capture and protecting it from hackers.  From Reading Your Palm for Security’s Sake:

They aren’t taking any chances at Barclays Bank in Britain. Stating an account number and other bona fides isn’t enough to get to your money at the bank’s wealth and investment management service. As an additional safeguard, a program analyzes customers’ voices when they call in, to make sure they match a voice print on file.

At some A.T.M.’s in Japan, getting cash isn’t simply a matter of entering a bank card and a password. The machine scans the vein pattern in a person’s palm before issuing money.

The technology that should provide assurances that services and information is not compromised is not perfected, however, and may create additional problems for consumers and the corporations utilizing the new methods:

But the technology also comes with a host of troublesome issues about its vulnerability to hacking and misuse.

The stakes can be high when inherently personal biometric data is hijacked, said Bruce Schneier, a security expert and author of “Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive.” “If someone steals your password, you can change it,” he said. “But if someone steals your thumbprint, you can’t get a new thumb. The failure modes are very different.”

Is your school using thumbprints for your student to be able to eat lunch?  My local elementary school is utilizing this technology to speed up the lunch line process.  What happens if those scans are accessed by unauthorized parties and your child’s fingerprint is used for someone else’s identity?  How can your child prove that his/her fingerprint actually belongs to him/her?

The last paragraph of the article demonstrates the problem with the data collection mandated by Common Core State Standards Initiative.  Regardless of what CCSSI proponents state, it’s NOT “just standards”, it will require more data on students and teachers.  It will necessitate more data gathered to determine each child’s academic and behavioral progress.  This information will be tracked for each child cradle to grave and to contribute to teachers’ evaluations.  Why should you be concerned about your student’s information being accessed by third party companies and federal governmental agencies?

But if the information is stored on a central server and unauthorized parties gain access to it, that is an entirely different problem.

“The centralized database is the scary part,” Mr. Schneier said. “That’s where the risk is. If it’s hacked into, suddenly everyone’s biometrics are stolen.”

Missouri DESE put out a 1297 data point Request for Proposal to vendors in its quest to compile a data base on Missouri students.  From yesterday’s post:

At that time (2011) DESE issued a *Request For Proposal for a supplier to bid on supplying a Statewide Student Information System (SSIS) that is about as all encompassing as you can imagine. You can find links to the original RFP here. Take a close look at the soon to be infamous Exhibit D. This is a spreadsheet of the data points DESE wanted to know if a vendor could collect using vendor developed software.

What is one of the many concerning data points DESE wanted to know if the vendor had the capability of capturing and tracking?


mosis data


What exactly are the “other forms of identification”?  DESE isn’t specific.  Based on the identification used by schools now (fingerprints for lunch), iris scans for student badge identification and student ID badges containing locator chips, it is an educated guess and “critical thinking skill” to believe that palms scans and other biometric forms of identification is coming at some point to your school.  Has your school district asked your permission for current biometric identification?  Do you know where this data is being stored?  What happens when and if your child’s thumbprint or iris scan is hacked?  Can you file suit against your school district, state agency, state board of education, your governor, your legislature?

Remember this quote:

“The centralized database is the scary part,” Mr. Schneier said. “That’s where the risk is. If it’s hacked into, suddenly everyone’s biometrics are stolen.”

It would behoove state legislatures to immediately enact data privacy legislation or possibly ready themselves for class action suits.  No system is hack proof.  Your child’s biometric information is only so safe.  When did it become permissible for governmental agencies to gather, access and provide access of this personal data to other agencies, governmental and private?  What does this have to do with education?





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