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Friday, 9 November 2012

National Pupil Database: This isn't going to end well

Education Secretary Michael Gove told Parliament on Tuesday that his department had opened up a public consultation on plans, in his words, "to share extracts of data held in the National Pupil Database for a wider range of purposes than currently possible in order to maximise the value of this rich dataset." Chillingly, one such usage cited would involve creating a private sector market that would be able to offer "innovative tools and services which present anonymised versions of the data". What this means in practice is that sensitive information held about children across Blighty could soon be in the hands of marketeers who are looking to extend their data-scraping exercises beyond the likes of Facebook, Google and other well-known free-content ad networks. It would now seem that even a child's school life including exam results, attendance, teacher assessments and even characteristics could soon be scrutinised in the same way - that is if Gove's proposals get the go-ahead.

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