In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck stole chickens. Huck’s father had taught him how to stomach chicken theft.
… Pap always said, take a chicken when you get a chance, because if you don’t want him yourself you can easy find somebody that does, and a good deed ain’t ever forgot. I never see pap when he didn’t want the chicken himself, but that is what he used to say, anyway.
Just as the Finn thieves lied to themselves, saying that they might do society a favor while they did themselves a favor, stealing chickens, so ed reformers and CEP data gatherers lie to themselves and to the public. After all, the CEP doesn’t do its own thieving; why should it judge or disclose the immoral origins of the data?
CEP simply says that it wants to centrally house data (that’s previously been taken, without permission from citizens, by school State Longitudinal Database Systems and by other entities.) CEP members wring their hands over the inconvenience they have endured, not fully being able to access all the pii. So also say the elite researchers and Gates-linked business people testifying at CEP’s public hearings.
Maybe you didn’t know that citizens’ data is being taken without our permission.
Think: when did you receive a permission slip from the school district, or from the state, asking you to sign away all student academic and nonacademic data for the rest of your child’s life? Never.
Yet SLDS systems do track a child for life. That’s what “longitudinal” means: through time. They call it P-20W. That means preschool through grade 20 and Workforce. Life.
Well, now you know. And we can’t opt out of the data theft system. I tried. The biggest, most vibrant source of citizen data is our public school system, and the government is unwilling to stop stealing from us in this way.
I do not use the word “stealing” lightly, nor am I exaggerating. Personal data is literally being confiscated without informed consent or permission of any kind, via school databases linked with many state agencies. Every digital record created by students, teachers, counselors, school nurses or administrators can be stored (and shared) from there.
Sometimes it is hijacked by unethical researchers entrusted with care of the pii.
No one seems to notice these articles about stolen pii.
And on it goes. Data points are taken and taken and taken –about both academic and nonacademic lives. Schools feed aggregate data and pii into federally-created “State Longitudinal Database Systems” (SLDS). Because SLDS systems use common educational data standards (CEDS) that the federal-corporate partners created, that data is portable and re-shareable (or re-stealable).
Many people believe that federal FERPA privacy laws protect the data, but it doesn’t. It used to. The Department of Education shredded the protective parts of FERPA several years ago. What’s actually protecting student privacy right now is the territorial unwillingness of agencies to share all data.
But the CEP is out to change that.
CEP will lead you to believe that it’s all about benefiting society. But that’s a side show, because data is the new gold. Everyone wants the data!
Sadly, individuals aren’t guarding this irreplaceable gold; most people aren’t aware that this pii is so valuable, that it’s being taken –and that it’s THEIRS.
Meanwhile, the elite at the CEP speak about data as if it’s oxygen, free for all, belonging to all. It makes sense from their (bottom line) point of view; governments and ed vendors have financially benefited from SLDS’s taking students’ data since about 2009, when SLDS databases were installed in every state by federal grants, and when federal FERPA changes allowed almost anyone access, for supposed research purposes.
Luckily, there’s so much territorialism by the various holders of the taken data that it hasn’t yet been centrally housed all in one spot. The federal EdFacts Data Exchange has some data. Each state’s SLDS has tons of data. Universities, hospitals, corporations, criminal justice agencies, and other organizations have other caches of pii. But the elite (the federal government, globalists, corporate elite, and some scientists) are desperate to have one national “clearinghouse” so that they can see and use our data to their own designs. They speak a smooth line in each of their CEP hearings. But don’t forget: that data is your life. Yours. Not theirs.
There was a recent three hour conversation that you most likely missed last week. Held in Chicago, this “public” hearing of the federal Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP) discussed what should be done with the pii (personally identifiable information) that federal agencies, state agencies, counties, school systems, hospitals, criminal justice systems, colleges and other organizations have collected. They’ve been discussing this all year long.
I picture Pap with a crate of stolen chickens. I picture his pirating friends with their own crates nearby. I think there might even be a few crate-holders who ethically came by their chickens, but the federal Chicken Evidence Policy says that all chickens go in one central pen, on an ongoing basis, so all the elite can access the chickens conveniently– conveniently for everyone except the chickens and their owners.
When you listen to their hearings, you find that the federal CEP is leaning toward creating a federal clearinghouse where every individual’s data can be centrally managed. CEP is also hoping to overturn the federal ban on unit-record identifiers.
Welcome to the real live prequel to Orwell’s 1984.
Do I sound calm? I’m not. This makes me almost unspeakably angry.
While trusting parents, teachers, school administrators and students are being used as pawns in the great data-gathering heist, arrogant members of Congress, of science, of CEP, of big data, are assuming authority over MY life and yours in the form of our personally identifiable data. And who is stopping them?
Despite a huge number of public comments that told the CEP that Americans want the CEP to get its hands off our data, the CEP moves ahead at a steady pace. And why not? We can never un-elect this appointed group that Congress created less than a year ago. What motivation would CEP have to actually incorporate the public comments?
As the Missouri Education Watchdog pointed out in October, there was only one man in America who seemed to care about protecting citizen privacy at that month’s hearing. Mr. Emmett McGroarty testified to the CEP that what they were doing was wrong. Similarly, at last week’s January 5 CEP hearing, there was only one woman who spoke ethically about children’s data privacy rights. She did a magnificent job. Everyone else testified that data should be gathered in one place, or possibly in a few places; and none of the others mentioned permission or informed consent. I took pages and pages of notes, since the meeting was only public in the sense that I could listen in to it on my phone.
It wasn’t filmed. It wasn’t truly public. It’s aiming to fly under the radar because it’s theft.
Huck Finn’s father’s plan to later share the stolen chickens didn’t make the chickens less stolen. Other people’s information doesn’t suddenly become your “scientific research” or your “evidence” for “evidence-based policymaking” just because Congress created a commission and appointed you to chat about it.
Shame on the CEP. Shame on all who turn a blind eye to this evil, open assault on the basic freedom of personal privacy.