It’s Not Sci-Fi: China Is Developing Tech That Can Mold U.S. Kids’ Minds

May 10, 2018 by

Chinese companies are buying up U.S. companies that store mammoth personal data on American children and adults. National-security analysts are starting to take notice.

The recent Facebook controversy focused Americans’ attention on the dangers of uncontrolled access to and use of individual online data. But as a nation we have a notoriously short attention span, which Big Business and Big Data count on to enable business as usual. Beginning with our children’s education data and continuing for the rest of their lives, the sky’s the limit for what can be done when all that glittering data is sifted, stirred, and exploited.

Some states have enacted certain protections for students’ online data, but most of these statutes allow sale of student information if the online operator is acquired by another company. That brings us to China. Chinese companies are buying up U.S. companies that store mammoth quantities of personal data on American children and adults. Analysts of national-security issues are starting to take notice.

Put aside the “can’t happen here” mentality and consider what’s going on in the Middle Kingdom. I’ve written about China’s planned “social credit” system, under which the government will collect every scrap of data about every interaction a citizen has, from taking out a loan to placing a crotchety post on Facebook to getting a speeding ticket, and use it to assign him a score that determines if he merits favors or punishment. This concept is an extreme example of the increased-access data repositories that bipartisan U.S. politicians want to create through the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEPA).

China Is Already Using Tech for Population Control

Now pivot to China’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) for facial recognition. NPR reported recently about the activities of SenseTime, China’s largest AI company, which develops the technology for the government. About a third of the company’s business goes for state surveillance. The reporter notes:

Source: It’s Not Sci-Fi: China Is Developing Tech That Can Mold U.S. Kids’ Minds

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