Yesterday, June 23, the Pentagon began working with BeNow Inc. to create and manage a database of all high school students between the ages of 16 and
18 as well as all college students. The measure has been taken to try and combat the low enrollment in the military as of recent. The database will
store information perceived as sensitive, such as the GPA, email address, and social security number of the students. Under the No Child Left Behind
Act, schools risk losing federal funding if they refuse to give some information to the military. The new system, however, will collect information
from a number of other sources, such as driver's licence records.
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.
"We support the U.S. armed forces, and understand that DoD faces serious challenges in recruiting for the military," a coalition of privacy groups
wrote to the Pentagon after notice of the program was published in the Federal Register a month ago. "But . . . the collection of this information is
not consistent with the Privacy Act, which was passed by Congress to reduce the government's collection of personal information on Americans."
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
There are obviously a lot of people already up in arms about this. You can still opt out of it, but only if you give your information to them in a
separate file. Ethnicity especially (as it mentions in the article) seems unecessary when it comes to this sort of data storage. And let's not
forget security issues. There have been a rash of recent attacks on government systems and placing this much information in a single location could
As a student I must say I really don't like this. I'm all for aggressive recruiting, and I'm all for data collection, but there really is no need to
do this sort of thing. I can understand some things, like the courses. That allows them to target specific individuals for a better chance of
success, and to better help the students. They certainly
don't need my social security number (there are plenty of ways of working without it)
and they really don't need my email address. THAT inflames me.