Hillsborough Schools Blocks Girls’ Shot at Basketball

child carrying a basketball

The public comments below were delivered at the Hillsborough County School Board Meeting on November 2, 2021:

Privacy is a human right and essential to freedom. BigTech snoops in your personal matters in ways you are unaware. But you are not helpless.  Tell the school district to stop collecting so much data on your kids.  Ask to see ALL the data. Forced data collection is EdTech Tyranny; we were unable to opt out.

My girls were kicked out of public school basketball because we refused to digitize and give their medical data to a for-profit private company with a privacy policy we could not agree to. We did provide all required paper work on paper.

School district lawyers advised our district leadership not to accept paper paperwork. One reason: “student safety”. Children are NOT safer with private data stored online; it risks a child’s data to hacking and sale on the dark web.  We said NO.  You should too.  It is EdTech tyranny.

Public schools are not cyber experts. They are low hanging fruit cybercriminals go after, it’s a well-known problem and it’s why the White House just directed a U.S. CyberSecurity Agency to study this problem in public schools.

In 2018 the FBI’s EdTech alert reported that hackers had extorted parents “and threatened students with physical violence and release of their personal information.” 

In 2019 a Canadian college student discovered through an appeals process that Canvas, the same Canvas our district uses that we pay for, had collected around 400 million data points on him alone.

Data is collected with every mouse movement or click on some EdTech platforms. Read privacy policies.  Question and research what they mean; words like licensing, partners, and “not 100% secure”.  How do you know it isn’t 0% secure? Data isn’t kind of breached; it is or it isn’t. [End of public comments; allocated time cut in half at School Board Meeting]

How do you verify data collected on your children is correct when you don’t know what data exists? Think what havoc incorrect data could play in college admissions or algorithms.

My public records request for district EdTech data dictionaries has gone unfulfilled for over a year. Florida’s Department of Education publishes their data dictionary why can’t the school district?

We pay companies to collect data on our children that could be researched, aggregated, and licensed then hidden from parents?!  You know who hid data: The Stasi; and China does it today. The more they digitize about you, the more they can manipulate, limit freedom, or destroy your life.

Canvas, Clever, Edsby, iReady, BrainPop, Flipgrid, Seesaw, Kahoot, Lunchroom software, Khan Academy: Do you trust the district to oversee the security and safety of all these apps and more?  Who investigates where the data goes, who they share it with, and how secure their systems are.  Every message sent, completed assignment, artwork, picture posted, question asked, medical record, book read, and SEL survey stored in the cloud; it is all data at risk.

Cathryn Moering
Hillsborough County School District Parent

HCSD Special Called Board Meeting Comments
November 2, 2021

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