Children’s Privacy: Private equity firm now has data on tens of millions of US kids – for predictive analytics use

Vista Equity Partners has spent six years buying controlling shares of big-name ed software companies, including PowerSchool (45M names, including from Naviance), Ellucian (26M names) and EAB, which works with 2,500 educational institutions. Together they cover K-college level students’ data which can be parsed to predict likely success rates and risk factors; assess family wealth; and inform on religion, health, disciplinary actions, and grades. Parents and student privacy groups are voicing concerns about what is being done with all that data and exploring what options they have to engage via the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other means.