Free Future

Big Data: NSA, Facebook—and My University?

Big Data: NSA, Facebook—and My University?

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:51pm
On Sunday, the New York Times published an extensive piece surveying the ways American universities are using their access to students’ information to tailor their college experiences. Universities collect a huge amount of data on their students—course selection and grades, past educational experience and standardized test scores, and other personal information. Austin Peay University analyzes a student’s data and suggests classes in which the student is likely to “succeed.” Arizona State University uses its data to identify students who are “off track” based on course selection and course results. ASU is also experimenting with using information on student swipes of ID cards around campus—at the gym, at the dining hall, at the dorm, at the library, etc.—to understand social ties. (Last week, my colleague Catherine Crump also wrote about universities experimenting with monitoring students’ internet usage to assess mental health.)
Newest School RFID Scheme is Reminder of Technology’s Surveillance Potential

Newest School RFID Scheme is Reminder of Technology’s Surveillance Potential

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:42pm

It’s funny how unpredictable the course of technology is. A few weeks ago it was reported that a Texas school district plans to implant RFID chips in student IDs, and use them to track the whereabouts of students. RFID chips, of course, are what…