Data-Crazy Department of Education Throws Privacy Out the Window

Data is king in the progressives' world. The more they have on you, the more they can control you.

A New York Post article brings to light the slippery slope of the State's intrusion into the private lives of students and their families. Obama's Department of Education has rewritten the rules for collecting data on American students.  In a final version of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy statute published on December 2, 2011, the DoEd, within the space of 57 pages, effectively and comprehensively wills itself to be chief facilitator of state gathered data of public school children Pre-K through college.

The DoED claims there won't be a central office to which all the states report; the states will have the option of sharing their own databases with other interested organizations. But students' private health records, grades, and family information will be available to anyone who can provide a reason to have them. From the New York Post:

As of Jan. 3, 2012, interstate and intergovernmental access to your child's personal information will be practically unlimited. The federal government will have a de facto nationwide database of supposedly confidential student information.

The department says this won't happen. If the states choose to link their data systems, it says, that's their business, but "the federal government would not play a role" in operating the resulting megadatabase.

This denial is, to say the least, disingenuous. The department would have access to the data systems of each of the 50 states and would be allowed to share that data with anyone it chooses, as long as it uses the right language to justify the disclosure.

On page 5 of the regulations, the DoEd couldn't be clearer about its intention to wield its power. Some commenters on the regulations wanted to be notified when their child's records were shared, and this was the department's response:

We agree that it is preferable to obtain consent before disclosing PII [personally identifiable information] from education records, and nothing in these final regulations is intended to change the statutory framework for consent. Nonetheless, Congress explicitly provided in FERPA that for certain purposes, PII from education records may be disclosed without consent. 20 U.S.C. 1232g(b).

The Department of Education and the Obama administration flout laws and make up self-serving rules while they chip away at our right to privacy.

Read more Ann Kane at Potter Williams Report

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