Protect Illinois' school students' personal data!

Schools and private vendors are collecting ever-growing amounts of data from and about students with the ubiquitous use of computers and digital devices.

Parents are concerned that current state and federal law are inadequate to ensure that student privacy is protected. All Illinois children deserve to receive a high-quality public education—and receiving a high-quality education must not require children to sacrifice the privacy and security of their personally-identifiable information.

On Tuesday May 1st, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, an LLC owned by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, announced that they would be contributing $14 million to the Chicago Public Schools to support the development of so-called "personalized learning" initiatives in partnership with the ed tech incubator LEAP Innovations.

This represents opening up massive market access to the country’s third largest public school system to the CEO of Facebook, a company now on notice worldwide for its exploitation of consumer data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Personalized learning presents a huge business opportunity for tech companies, both to sell products to schools systems and to get access to children’s personally identifiable data from the moment they enter the schoolhouse door.

The Illinois General Assembly must immediately take action to systematically address the weaknesses in the current treatment of student data in Illinois. Read an overview of what comprehensive student data protection needs to contain here.

[Image via Creative Commons]

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