Nikkei Report: IT in Schools – What Needs to be Taken Into Account

As Japan aims for the realization of “one computer or tablet per child” within the next five years, Jeff Gould of SafeGov.org speaks about the importance of privacy and security, especially in education.

Currently, companies, such as Google and Facebook, analyze users’ email accounts, wall posts, search queries, and viewed videos in order to collect vast amounts of data. By doing so, a company like Facebook can correctly estimate the age of a particular user 75% of the time, deduce whether the user is a smoker or non-smoker 73% of the time, or his or her political affiliation 85% of the time.

Despite such vast data collection for further beneficial uses in services and advertising, Gould claims that education must be treated differently. In a survey by SafeGov.org, out of 500 parents, 74% of them showed concerns towards their children being monitored online in schools.

Gould explains that services such as medical services and nuclear power will require stricter regulations due to its impact on society. Since Japan has not implemented cloud services in the education system, yet, Gould hopes that the government will fully understand the implications of the “cloud” before implementing such services in schools.

Source: Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Japanese)