Has Washington Forgotten About the Right to Privacy?

This article is part of a series focusing on Lens of Liberty, a project of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation. In her Liberty Minute titled “Browsing the Fourth Amendment,” Helen Krieble sheds light on the government’s failure to regulate private companies who regularly violate Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights: Do you want telemarketers to know what you searched for online? Should strangers be able to access your financial information? The current national debate about peoples’ internet browsing privacy is a bedrock principles issue. Some private companies like Google and Facebook collect data from their customers and sell it to advertisers without

Trump’s Budget Cuts Fed Role in Education — But Will Congress Follow His Lead?

The Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 education budget contains many reductions and eliminations that should give hope to parents and privacy advocates. But sadly, congressional appropriators seem almost as genetically incapable of eliminating ineffective, invasive, or harmful programs — despite mountains of data clearly documenting these programs’ uselessness — as they are of exerting any sort of fiscal discipline, as documented by the budget deal discussed last week that will only increase the $21 trillion deficit. So unfortunately, this budget will likely be dead on arrival in Congress unless citizens act. Here are some highlights that activists can use as starting

APP’s Jane Robbins Reveals Dangers of Gov’t Data Mining to Congress (VIDEO)

On January 30th, American Principles Project senior fellow Jane Robbins gave outstanding testimony at a U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee hearing titled “Protecting Privacy, Promoting Policy: Evidence-Based Policymaking and the Future of Education.” She spoke eloquently about the critical need for data privacy over data security, the dangers of social emotional learning, and the enormous problems of steering students into certain careers based on predictive algorithms. You can watch her opening statement below:  The video of the whole hearing is available here. Below are some of the strongest points from her opening statement: The Government Has No “Right”

It’s Time for Congress to End These Federal Intrusions into Preschool

Last Thursday’s edition of Politico’s Morning Education had a short blurb on the status of the preschool development grants, yet another ill-considered federal preschool program imposed by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Here is part of what was written: WHAT’S UP WITH PRESCHOOL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS? Like many other programs waiting on Congress’ fiscal 2018 budget, the Preschool Development Grant program created by the Every Student Succeeds Act has yet to hit the stage. The grant program, modeled after an Obama-era initiative by the same name, authorizes funding for state-level preschool efforts for 3- and 4-year-olds to the tune of $250

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

Grading the GOP’s Latest Education Bill: Needs Improvement (on Data Privacy)

The House Education and Workforce Committee completed their mark-up last week of HR 4508, which they have named the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act. Here is an update on the data privacy implications of this bill. The good news is that the ban on a student unit-record system is still in place. The previously proposed College Transparency Act would have allowed non-consensual tracking of personally identifiable information from college through the workforce by monitoring individual data from the colleges and universities, the IRS, and the military. (See also here and here for more details.) Committee

Guess What? Congress Wants to Collect Even More Sensitive Student Data

Amidst of the ongoing battle against the surveillance state that we have chronicled with the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEPA), the College Transparency Act (CTA), and the regulatory gutting of the family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), there is yet another data bill that is now rearing its head. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.) have reintroduced The Student Right to Know Before You Go Act. Like the CTA, in its past iterations this bill has removed the prohibition on the student unit-record system, which would allow the tracking of individual students throughout

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