The Information on School Websites Is Not as Safe as You Think


Adjunct professor and executive director of Fordham CLIP, N. Cameron Russell, was quoted in a New York Times article about student data privacy.

Student lists are now available for purchase on the basis of ethnicity, affluence, religion, lifestyle, awkwardness and even a predicted need for family planning services, according to a study released in June by Fordham University’s Center on Law and Information Policy. Where that information was drawn from is mostly undisclosed, the study found.

“There’s a continuum of data collectors, data sharers and data users within this large ecosystem,” said N. Cameron Russell, the center’s executive director, describing it as a “huge invisible world” of shifting business entities of which the public is mostly unaware. The companies offer school districts incentives to use “freemium” services, free or discounted products for which, Mr. Russell says, “you’re paying with your personal information.”

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