Kate sez, "Technology companies are moving rapidly to get tools like email and document creation services into schools. This link to a recent survey of schools in the UK shows that use of such technology is expected to bring significant educational and social benefits. However, it also reveals that schools have deep concerns that providers of these services will mine student emails, documents or web browsing behaviour to build profiles for commercial purposes, such as serving advertisements. When data mining is done for profit, the relationship between the data miner and the consumer is simply a market transaction. As long as both parties are free to choose whether and when they wish to engage in such transactions, there is no reason to forbid them or place undue obstacles in their path. However, when children are using certain services at school and can neither consent to, control or even properly understand the data mining that is taking place, a clear line against such practices must
be drawn, particularly when their data will be used by businesses to make a profit."
UK School Opinions of Cloud Services
and Student Privacy [PDF]
Slovenia’s Maheno corporation manufactured a series of Barbie-branded and white label typewriters for kids, with a hidden feature that allowed their owners to use them to produce messages encrypted with a simple substitution cipher.
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