In my fourth grade classroom, when there is something very important that I want all of my students hear and to understand the first time (a task that is more difficult than you can imagine), I tell my kids to “wake their brains up.”
And then I do this (sort of) to demonstrate:
Today, I am asking parents to do the same.
And this is because your child’s privacy is under attack, and you, moms and dads, are literally the only thing standing in the way of the complete and utter hijacking of all personal information related to your loved ones.
Before you glaze over, realize that the implications of this data-grab may be greater than you think.
This week, a group of corporate-funded researchers joined Bill Gates’s “Data Quality Campaign” to lobby legislators to weaken the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) yet again.
In an era when entire school districts are being shut down due to data breaches and ransom notes from anonymous hackers, profiteers are seeking to put your child’s personal information into the hands of still more people.
But here’s the thing: it’s not only creepy anonymous hackers that we need to protect ourselves from.
Data was recently called the “new oil” by the CEO of Mastercard, but few people seem to understand how – beyond vague notions of algorithms and advertising revenue – they intend to turn our personal information into a multi-trillion dollar market.
The intent is to put social services – schools, public health, prisons, foster care, you name it – into the hands of private investors via “social capital markets.”
Using social impact bonds, pay-for-success contracts, and other so-called “innovative” financial tools, investors – in collaboration with a wide network of corporate-sponsored “nonprofits” – intend to hand out loans for public services in exchange for repayment (with interest) when we meet their predetermined outcomes.
It’s the technocratic nightmare behind ever-increasing calls for “evidence-based” (read: data-based) policy:
that leads not only to endless demands for data-collection, but to service-shortcuts like ipads in place of teachers and for-profit foster care programs that claim excellent “outcomes” while children are dying in their care.
(Please read here for more.)
And so when they – the data-miners themselves – suggest that perhaps we put our children’s data into something more “secure” like blockchain, realize that they are simply trying to secure the very data they themselves need to build their fortunes.
Unfortunately, this means that demands for greater “privacy” protections are not going to be enough.
What we need to do is stop the oil rigs from being built on our children’s backs in the first place.