November 14, 2017
The US Government Wants to Track You Throughout Your Life
Under the guise of fighting poverty, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced legislation that created the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP). The final bill was signed into law by President Obama last year. The theory is that the government must decide how to combine and use the mountains of data collected by various agencies to determine what, if any, government programs are working.
For about a year hearings dominated by advocates of greater data collection and data-consolidation and data-use for “research, generally without the knowledge and consent of citizens being studied, were held. The good news is that during the public comment period two-thirds of the comments received by the CEP raised concerns about student records, with the majority of the comments in opposition to enabling the federal government to compile records about individual students. The bad news is that CEP totally ignored those concerns, complained about the various bans on national student databases and recommended that ” Congress and the President should consider repealing current bans and limiting future bans on the collection and use of data for evidence building.”
So the CEP wants Congress to consider creating lifelong dossiers on every American citizen who enrolls in any institution of higher education, with no opportunity to opt out or even be informed that this surveillance and tracking is happening. On October 31, 2017 Speaker Paul Ryan introduced HR 4174 This bill would implement the recommendations of the CEP which would remove the prohibition on lifelong tracking of students through college and the workforce. It is further government intrusion on privacy.
This bill is being fast-tracked. It was introduced on October 31 and voted out of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on November 2 and is scheduled for a final vote in the US House this Wednesday, November 15! Note that the committee held no hearings and the vote was by Voice Vote, so we don’t know how committee members voted.
Contact your US Representative and ask him to oppose HR 4174!