Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Big Brother a step at a time

Tracking system for colleges would violate privacy
By Katherine Haley Will

"Does the federal government need to know whether you aced Aristotelian ethics but had to repeat introductory biology? Does it need to know your family's financial profile, how much aid you received and whether you took off a semester to help out at home?"
"Whether you call it a ``national unit records database'' (the first name) or a ``consumer-friendly information database'' (the second), it is in fact a mandatory federal registry of all American students throughout their collegiate careers -- every course, every step, every misstep. Once established, it could easily be linked to existing K-12 and workforce databases to create unprecedented cradle-to-grave tracking of American citizens. All under the watchful eye of the federal government."
"This proposal is a violation of the right to privacy that Americans hold dear. It is against the law. Moreover, there is a mountain of data already out there that can help us understand higher education and its efficacy. And, finally, implementation of such a database, which at its inception would hold ``unit'' record data on 17 million students, would be an unfunded mandate on institutions and add greatly to the expense of education."

No comments: