Ed-Tech Policy Letter to the Editor

The Indelible Student-Data Footprint

August 22, 2017 1 min read
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To the Editor:

As a counterbalance to “Maryland Dad Wants June 30 to Be ‘National Student Data Deletion Day’” (June 30, 2017), it might be good for Education Week to review and expose all the data that schoolchildren give away online to Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, as well as how much of that information can becollected and sold by unknown companies. It should be noted that some data-collection items as listed in the article, including browsing history, schoolwork, student-created emails, and other data are stored in multiple places—on vendor sites, in cookies on the individual computer, within the internet-filter systems that are designed to keep the students safe, and by the recipient of electronic communications. As a result, such information is nearly impossible to find and delete. Schools do not “collect” the above information; it is part of the information age.

When parents worry about what their children are giving away online, they will see that schools are not the threat. Google, Facebook, and other social-media platforms are what parents should be aware of. They will also see how hard it is to scrub their child’s digital footprints from the internet. I doubt they would want to pay the schools to do the scrubbing they are hoping for.

Russell Altersitz

Data Analyst

Logan Township School District

Logan Township, N.J.

A version of this article appeared in the August 23, 2017 edition of Education Week as The Indelible Student-Data Footprint


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