March 19, 2012
By Privacy Mom / aka Evelyn Castillo-Bach
"Remember and spread the word: Collegiate Nation was created and designed to protect college students from spying eyes. You can delete or edit your posts. Plus you can post anonymously or use a different name. That's real protection."
Sometimes, it amazes me the extent of tracking taking place. If you are a college athlete, chances are good to excellent that everything you do within a public social site like Facebook, Google, Twitter or YouTube is being tracked by companies specialized in online spying.
Take for example, a company called UDiligence. It brags about being the leader in monitoring posts on social networks, to protect athletic departments against damaging posts made by student-athletes. Coaches and college administrators receive alert emails whenever a troublesome post occurs, says UDiligence, explaining that this way the athletic department or university administrators can address the issue before it becomes a bigger problem for the student-athlete and the athletic department.
UDiligence also automatically monitors the Facebook, Twitter, MySpace & YouTube pages of student-athletes for any careless posts/comments. It says that it serves as an early-warning radar, alerting on issues before they become problems.
UDiligence says that it is right to do this because it "provides teaching moments where a coach or staff member can mentor the student-athlete regarding responsible social network posts."
So if we are to understand correctly, student athletes should welcome the opportunity to be spied upon because this way they can learn how to post on social media sites. What ever happened to just teaching posting skills and basics rules?
What about the right to communicate and free speech? Do student-athletes give up this basic right?
I totally agree that student athletes, and all students, need to be super careful when posting on public sites. Everything you post on a public site can and will be used against you. But the core problem is that public social media sites are data collection companies posing as friendly social networks. That is the real problem. This is the real lesson that needs to be taught. Student athletes and all college students need to know this simple truth.
If a data collector knocked on your door and started asking you a bunch of personal questions, you would know to say, No. Yet, everyday students use public social media for private communication. That is the real danger. Students should not post anything on a public site that they would not list on a resume. In fact, students should not friend people they know or anyone on a public site, because that information too can be used against you.
UDiligence is not the only company out there tracking student-athletes specifically. There is also Varsity Monitor, among others.
Privacy Invasion: Social media monitoring required to attend college or to be hired?
Collegiate Nation -- also known as GoCNCN.com -- is the first and only private network exclusively for college students. It has banned all tracking and all ads. Collegiate Nation has a 2-tier membership structure. Any student can join for free. Premium level members who subscribe for $6.00/ month have access to all site features.
Evelyn Castillo-Bach is also the founder of UmeNow.com which is open to the general public. Both UmeNow and Collegiate Nation are known for fiercely protecting the privacy rights of its members. All ads, third party apps and games are banned because they are back doors to tracking and extracting private information.
Castillo-Bach earned her M.S. in 1993 from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has traveled extensively in Ethiopia and in the Balkans, accompanying her Danish husband who is a lawyer. Castillo-Bach was interviewed on the subject of Employers, Schools Checking Your Social Media by Miami television earlier this year.
Posted by CollegiateNation
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