New Education Policy Violates Privacy, Group Says

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 03:54 PM

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Conservative watchdog American Principles in Action has criticized the United States Department of Education for changing a 1974 privacy act, which will now allow the sharing of personal data about students among government departments, reports DailyCaller.com.

The change allows information that schools collect, such as a student’s medical history and grades, to be shared with agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor. The move is necessary to “judge the effectiveness of government investments in education,” the education department says.

American Principles in Action says the change removes the control of personal information from families and creates a question about who is looking at this information, and why. It could become a sophisticated way to track people throughout their lives, the group believes. It could be a way for the federal government to funnel students toward certain career paths that they seem best suited to, the group’s director, Emmett McGroarty, tells the Caller.

“We’re flipping the normal American model on its head,” McGroarty said. “The traditional American capitalist democratic idea that each individual is a sovereign and ‘I’m going to shape my life the way I want’ [would end]. Now, it’s big government taking a look back and saying, ‘We need this, we need that.’”

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