Anti-Privacy Database Bill Set to Become Law without Trump Veto

HR 4174, the privacy-crushing de facto national database bill discussed here earlier this week and recently at Townhall, will become law as early as tomorrow, January 12th, without a presidential veto. Economic and privacy experts are gravely concerned about this bill due to its potential to expand the welfare state and planned economy and an increased vulnerability of government data to hacking. This will also affect our children due to the ever-expanding mountain of data collected on them through education technology and state longitudinal databases as well as the weakening of FERPA, the federal privacy law. Although much is happening with

Congress Ignores Citizens, Votes to Pass Swamp-Expanding Database Bill

There they go again. Big Government and Big Data have received another gift from Congress while the privacy of ordinary citizens has been further eroded. In sadly typical lame-duck fashion, the Senate passed HR 4174, the Foundations for Evidence-based Policymaking Act, right before Christmas after strong citizen opposition had held up its passage for 13 months. The bill was brought to the Senate floor from committee without even a perfunctory hearing. As in the House, there was no real debate about the enormous privacy implications for individual American citizens. Except for the great efforts of constitutionally minded conservatives like Rep. Justin

Privacy Alert: Will China Soon Be Using Big Data to Influence U.S. Students?

This article was originally posted at The Federalist. The recent Facebook controversy focused Americans’ attention on the dangers of uncontrolled access to and use of individual online data. But as a nation we have a notoriously short attention span, which Big Business and Big Data count on to enable business as usual. Beginning with our children’s education data and continuing for the rest of their lives, the sky’s the limit for what can be done when all that glittering data is sifted, stirred, and exploited. Some states have enacted certain protections for students’ online data, but most of these statutes allow sale of

Looking Ahead: 4 Predictions for Education Policy in 2018

Happy New Year! Here is a brief update on federal education issues we were following before Christmas and some predictions as 2018 begins. As always, the contrast between policies that uphold the Constitution, academic excellence, parental rights, and data privacy versus those that expand big government control and corporate interests, using student as mere widgets in the labor supply pipeline, is stark. Data and Psychological Privacy Thanks to you raising your voices amidst the rush to complete work before the Christmas break, the Senate, after completing the tax bill, did not, as some had feared, take up the Orwellian, de

House Leaders Ignore Citizen Concerns, Pass National Database Bill

It was heartening last week to see citizens nationwide come together to provide a great groundswell of support for data privacy in opposing HR 4174, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEPA). Sadly, however, as with the Every Student Succeeds Act, House Leadership was again far more attuned to the desires of Big Data and other special interests than they were to the concerns of average citizens and parents. The House passed FEPA on an unrecorded voice vote with a mere 23 minutes of “debate” (a.k.a. “cheerleading”) in which no one raised a single concern about the bill’s extremely poor

DANGER: House GOP Leaders Prepare to Ram Through Privacy-Killing Bill

Last week, I discussed the dangers of HR 4174/S 2046, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policy Act (FEPA). The gravest concern about FEPA is the likely development of a national database of dossiers on every American citizen. Introduced on Halloween, this horrifying bill passed the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on a voice vote a mere two days later with no discussion whatsoever about the privacy and freedom concerns. Apparently, many of the normally liberty-vigilant members of the Freedom Caucus who serve on that committee have been led to believe the loss of privacy is small in comparison to