Regulating “big data education” in Europe: lessons learned from the US

Yoni Har Carmel, Internet Policy Review, Feb 14, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I found this item while doing some background reading related to the IEEE-LTSC's approval today of a new proposal to look at standards for the ethical sharing of child and student data. The main point of the analysis - and indeed, the main reason for the IEEE project - is that the responsibility for the management of student data is shifting from the school to the technology company. We've seen how that can turn out badly. There's the risk of "disclosing sensitive information about children, like data about learning disabilities, disciplinary problems or family trauma." There's also a concern that "monitoring of students’ online activities may overly limit creativity, free speech and free thought, by creating a 'surveillance effect'." There are "concerns big data techniques prematurely and permanently labeling students as underperformers." And there are worries that "decision-making based on algorithmic models will exacerbate bias and create new forms of discrimination." Image: JISC, The future of data-driven decision-making.

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