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Tracking Study Habits: “It’s Big Brother, Sort of, But With a Good Intent”

STUDENT PRIVACY—U.S.

April 10, 2013

Professors at nine colleges are testing technology that allows them to get detailed reports of their students’ study habits through digital textbooks, reports The New York Times. While students’ digital textbook use has been tracked for a while now, CourseSmart individually packages information on all the students in a professor’s class. The start-up says that surveys indicated few privacy concerns, but one student who uses non-tracked forms of studying worries, ““If he looks and sees, ‘Hillary is not really reading as much as I thought,’ does that give him a negative image of me?” More than 3.5 million students and educators currently use CourseSmart textbooks, and the program is expected to be introduced broadly in the fall. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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