a guest Oct 24th, 2019 206 Never
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- One time a while ago I chatted in depth with someone I met at a party, who had worked for one of these school surveillance companies, and they told me it's worse than you would think. The people who are doing the monitoring are entry level people working from home. The pay is very low, so it attracts the lowest tier of workers. These are not highly trained professional employees working in a professional office alongside managers and executives. The entire training was reading a document and taking a short quiz. I think the only qualification was being a US citizen, no felony conviction, and having a high school diploma or GED. Then the contractor could, from his own computer in his own home, view emails that students sent or received on their school email accounts, including photos, videos, websites linked to, and documents attached. And view files, photos, and videos on the students laptops and cloud accounts, if those laptops and cloud accounts were provided to the students by the school. They were not monitoring college students - this was elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.
- If your kids school uses one of these services, then random people making ten dollars per hour will be viewing what your kid says and does online through the school email, and the photos & videos they have on the school-provided computer. Including selfies, family photos, conversations with parents and friends, and things like that which are not even school related. Like email receipts for items purchased online that shows the home shipping address (and sometimes even credit card info). And conversations about when the students or parents will be home or away from home or on vacation. And confirmation emails when the student creates an account on a website, like a dating website or an online payment service, which include the students username (and sometimes even password). The system can also log a list of every website that a student visits on the school-provided device, at any time even at night in their own bedroom. I think there it can also take screenshots every X seconds on the device, and whatever the student is doing on the device at that time is recorded and reviewed.
- If a file or email contains any photo of a human, or any flagged word, it will be viewed by several people including multiple random 'contractors'. Any flagged item could possibly be referred to the school administration or even local police, like if the student mentions his parent or neighbor smoked a drug or was emotionally abusive, or if the student says she hates herself and feels depressed. If your kid ever has a sexy photo of themself or a friend on the device, or does a nude webcam chat with someone - you should know that multiple random guys, sitting in their houses making around minimum wage, will be looking at that along with everything else.
- I cannot believe parents are not outraged at this. But of course, the same level of privacy invasion is happening to the parents also, by their ISP and the companies that provide email and social media services. The parents don't care about that, so I guess it makes sense they don't care about their kids privacy either.
- If you are one of the few who care, take time to dig into this topic. Who is funding and investing in these companies, who are the executives and who is on the boards? Contact your school district and politicians to ask if they really know how it all works and who is monitoring the monitors. Read through copies of the user agreements and privacy notices from the school and the tech services they use, which are paid for with your tax dollars. Teach your kids to use their school-provided devices and accounts for school work ONLY, and to use their own personal devices and accounts for anything else.
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