School Mandates: A Violation of Student Privacy and Human Rights?

The public comments below were delivered at the Hillsborough County School Board Meeting on December 14, 2021:

Privacy is a human right and essential to our freedom.

Maybe you keep your curtains open at night, install spyware like Ring and Alexa in your home, or put Chinese apps like TikTok and Zoom on your phone.  Those are your choices.

The school district doesn’t decide what is right for a child, parents do. Years of hard work protecting our childrens’ digital footprint, irreversibly gone thanks to you!

You have a responsibility to protect the privacy rights of students; ignorance of technologies you choose to deploy is no excuse.

Florida’s Constitution states: Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life.

Worse than this you mandate intrusion from private and public companies that collect, research, and share children’s data.

Are school districts allowing companies to monetize data collected on children?

In March 2020 Canvas was sold to private equity for $2B and filed for an IPO this year.  In March 2019 a former CEO of Canvas’ parent company reportedly said:

“We have the most comprehensive database on the educational experience in the globe…no one else has those data assets at their fingertips to be able to develop those algorithms and predictive models.”

He said one of their initiatives “is first and foremost a platform for ML [Machine Learning] and AI [Artificial Intelligence], and we will deliver and monetize it…”

An investigation into a privacy complaint against Edsby was completed this year by the office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

The investigation concluded Edsby “lacked a comprehensive information security framework to protect the personal information of hundreds of thousands of students”.

Why haven’t Florida legislators STOPPED the excessive use of education technologies?  Why haven’t you? You are trading our children’s data for services.

You said unless we digitize our child’s private medical record and give it to some company you would withhold sports from our children.  Does that constitute extortion or just violate our constitutional rights?

Are you violating our rights so you don’t get sued when you can’t keep track or responsibly collect paper paperwork?

We wouldn’t submit to your digital mandate when you attempted to extort our children’s personal data like a pay to play scheme.  Students pay with their personal data and digital privacy for access to play sports.

Digital mandates are not least restrictive.  We gave you ALL the paperwork you requested on paper, but you still kicked our children out of girls’ basketball.

Cathryn Moering
Hillsborough County School District Parent

Hillsborough County School Board Meeting Comments
December 14, 2021

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