Should Technology Companies Store Students' Personal Data?

March 6, 2015
PETER CADE—GETTY IMAGES

New technology is making it easier for schools to collect information about students. Schools around the country are using digital tools to track student progress in subjects. Schools can also track how students behave in class. Much of this data is collected and stored by technology companies, not by the schools or the families.

Supporters say digital programs enable teachers to identify areas in which students need help. Having digital records makes it easier for teachers to plan lessons. Some parents and educators are concerned that these companies may not be able to adequately protect student privacy.

Here, two TFK readers offer their opinions.

COURTESY FREDERICKSEN FAMILY

Yes

Meghan Fredericksen, 10

Foster City, California

Technology companies can help us manage our lives. The companies are aware that they need to keep informa tion safe, which is one reason I think they should be able to store personal information, such as test scores, student behavior and grades. Tech companies have passwords, security, and systems to help keep the information safe. The stored data will help teachers know what areas students need help with, and that will help kids become better learners.

COURTESY RAMON FAMILY

No

Wilson Ramon, 12

Herman, Minnesota

Tech companies should not be allowed to store personal information about students. Parents and teachers should be concerned about safeguarding student privacy and records. Some companies may not have systems to securely store information, and data could be used by others. Records of students’ progress and test scores are important, but they must be stored securely. Behavior should not be tracked and stored. Privacy is important. Schools should not have the ability to put a student’s privacy at risk.