Student Privacy in Peril

Over at the Huffington Post, I have a short piece about the growing problems with student data.  Here’s the opening:

In October, personal financial data — including social security numbers, loan repayment histories and bank-routing numbers – of thousands of college students was exposed on the Department of Education’s (ED) direct loan website. For seven minutes, anyone surfing the direct loan website could find personal information about students who had borrowed from the Department of Education.

In and of itself, this data security breach is quite alarming, but it is even more so considering the aggressive data gathering efforts ED is spearheading. For example, the ED’s changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations will provide the government with greater powers to gather and use longitudinal data about students to track their performance over time.


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