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Should Big Data Be Used To Discourage Poor Students From University?

12 July, 2017

Should Big Data Be Used To Discourage Poor Students From University?

Young adults born into low socioeconomic families can use an algorithm built on government-collected data to determine whether or not they should bother with their tertiary education, a representative from the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre has revealed.

It was alleged at the Data + Privacy Asia Pacific conference in Sydney on Wednesday one unnamed company is looking into use of “very detailed information” about socioeconomic backgrounds, amongst other things, to create platforms whereby young people can go in and plug in their data to receive a determination on the likelihood of their ability to continue at university.

“This group has been working on programs that educators might be appalled at, where kids would type in and it will say to them, ‘Well based on your socioeconomic background and your parents history etc you won’t do very well at university’ … or your odds are low,” the admissions centre representative explained.

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