‘Impenetrable’ World of Student Data Brokers a Major Concern, Study Says

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CLIP’s study on the commercial marketplace for student data has been featured in Education Week.

The K-12 world is subject to a murky marketplace of commercial data brokers who traffic in sensitive information involving students’ “ethnicity, affluence, religion, lifestyle, awkwardness, and even a perceived need for family planning,” according to a new report released today by the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham Law School.

“Even knowledgeable and motivated parents are unable to know much of anything about who is dealing in their personal information, and what they’re doing with it,” said Cameron Russell, the center’s executive director, in an interview.

The report is titled “Transparency and the Marketplace for Student Data.” It relies on a narrow slice of data collection, with 10 high school students from three school districts in New Jersey, New York, and Vermont asked to collect the commercial solicitations they received during 10 to 14 day windows in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

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