Data collection on children while they attend school is unfortunately not new and continues to happen despite increasing opposition. Of course it’s creepy. But data collection a la “Surveillance Capitalism” is always creepy. Unfortunately, it seems to affect all of us – from cradle to grave – whether we knowingly and willingly participate in it or not (see 1, 2, 3).
Thanks to The Guardian for reporting about parents putting a stop to an even more inappropriate and invasive form of data collection on their children:
A trial that involved primary school pupils wearing a head-mounted device that monitored their attention spans has been halted in China amid parents’ privacy concerns and fears they could be used to control the children, local media have reported.
The device monitors brainwaves and sent data to the computer system at Xiaoshun central primary School in Jinhua City, Zhejiang province, and some data was shared with parents, according to state-run newspaper Beijing News.
The u-shaped device, which sits across the forehead, was reportedly developed by US-based company BrainCo and local Chinese partner company Zhejiang BrainCo Technology Co Ltd, co-founded by Kong Xiaoxian, a former PhD student at the Harvard centre for brain sciences and a one-time student of the primary school.
With many children across China using smartwatches, mobile phones and other devices that track location and personal information, parents are becoming increasingly concerned about how that data is used, and who can access it.
“Currently this is the only school in China that’s been using them. The products are more widely used in the US but since Kong was once a student of that school, he decided to donate some of these headbands out of gratitude for his alma mater, with no ill intention.”
Wow – it’s being used in U.S. schools too?! And parents are okay with this?
What’s equally if not more unsettling is that research has determined that exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation may cause harm immediately as well as long term. Health experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics have also warned that children are more vulnerable to harm from cell phone and WiFi radiation and that we should be reducing their exposure – not increasing it.
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