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Friday, June 24, 2005

They're At It Again: Pentagon Student Database

MilitaryWhen the Total Information Awareness program came to light in late 2002, the Defense Department learned the hard way that people weren't very happy that the government was planning to gather their data into a gigantic database.   Congress denied funding to the program in 2003 after a vigorous public outcry. 

But the government doesn't really learn.  A recent story in the Washington Post notes:

The Defense Department began working yesterday with a private marketing firm to create a database of high school students ages 16 to 18 and all college students to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches.

The program is provoking a furor among privacy advocates. The new database will include personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade-point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying.

The data will be managed by BeNow Inc. of Wakefield, Mass., one of many marketing firms that use computers to analyze large amounts of data to target potential customers based on their personal profiles and habits. . . .

The system also gives the Pentagon the right, without notifying citizens, to share the data for numerous uses outside the military, including with law enforcement, state tax authorities and Congress.

Posted by Daniel Solove on June 24, 2005 at 01:40 AM in Daniel Solove, Information and Technology | Permalink


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