Only a short time ago, I thought my husband was being paranoid when he asked me if I’d read the security agreement for an app I was about to download.
“Does it tell you how it will use your data?” he asked.
I shrugged and told him to relax. What could they possibly find out about me that would be of concern?
A year or so later, I still have a tendency to give out personal information with far too much haste, but – for the most part, at least – I no longer think my husband is paranoid when it comes to concerns over data collection.
(You’re welcome, dear.)
The fact is, big data = BIG money – this article even goes so far as to call it “the new gold”– and where opportunities for profit exist, boundaries will be pushed as far as possible.
We are in uncharted territory, and – inconvenient though it may be – we need to be on our toes with this, lest we end up traveling down the same road as China.
China, you may or may not have heard, has recently unveiled something it calls “Sesame Credit” – which is, essentially, a giant game where you earn points for doing things (buying the right stuff, having the right friends), and get rewarded for good behavior with hard-to-access travel paperwork and loan approvals.
It may sound bizarre, but look closely and you’ll see that here in the United States, we are creeping toward similar practices.
Did you know, for example, that Facebook recently acquired a patent for a program that would allow lenders to use the credit scores of your friends in determining whether or not to grant you a loan?
“It’s nothing to lose sleep over for people with decent credit history, but it could potentially affect those who are borderline to begin with,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
Well gee, that makes me feel better.
Also of concern is the fact the concept being promoted in China is also promoted by Global Education Futures, who suggest in this document:
Continuous assessment in gaming-like dynamics that will “transform education into a ‘personal quest to boost a character’ in which “the ‘quest for achievement or trophy’ logic will be embedded into augmented reality systems that would award (with gaming bonuses, tokens, badges etc.) real-life professional conduct, healthy lifestyle, citizenship skills.
If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you know that despite the Orwellian picture of it paints of the future, GEF is actually a remarkably influential group, with connections to UNESCO, the Gates Foundation, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education. More than handful of policies they advocate – including mass “personalized” learning and competency-based assessment – made their way into the recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
So, the fact that they not only managed to predict but also appear to advocate the bizarre, dystopian game with which China is now experimenting should give one pause.
Like, serious pause:
All of this, meanwhile, has huge implications for our kids, whose data is being collected in more ways that most of us realize.
Check out the video below that was posted recently on Youtube, which gives a brief but important overview of the ways that big data and education are now intersecting in your child’s classroom:
It’s a brave new world out there.