Parental consent, while legally sufficient, is an insufficient mechanism to protect the privacy of children and the confidentiality of student records because:
It assumes parents have adequate digital literacy to make informed choices about their children’s privacy.
It assumes school district immunity despite obligations under Section 79.1.b of the B.C. School Act.
It assumes Google has incentive to adequately inform parents about the risks of data retention, profiling and automated decision making.
It assumes computational statistical inferences derived from machine learning algorithms doesn’t threaten the privacy of children.
I offer five recommendations:
Strengthen the conditions for consent to be given.
Expand the definition of digital literacy and offer learning opportunities for parents and teachers.
Make it as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give consent.
Create meaningful alternatives for students of parents who opt out.
Phase out and discontinue use of GAFE in the classroom.
This is an interesting read from Brad Payne. It comes back to Douglas Rushkoff’s argument that social media should never be used in schools. It has me thinking about the ways that data associated with private Facebook groups could be scraped surreptitiously.