Education broker balderdash.

A British charity called the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service ( which “controls admissions to U.K. universities,” charging fees of ~£23 per student to help >700,000 students sign up for university courses in the U.K. each year, has been selling marketers the data of those students and the data of ~15,000 of their parents and the data of younger children aged 13 to 16 who sign up for courses via another program they offer.

The charity has a “commercial arm” that apparently made £12 million in 2013 from selling the students’ information, to customers such as mobile phone companies, a large software company and a beverages company. The charity’s spokesperson told reporters they are “strictly legal,” selling children’s data within the requirements of British law.

The level of civilization this implies is lower than expected.

Achtung: an analyst said the sort of “carefully selected third parties” checkbox Ucas used “is usually preceded by a triple negative question so you don’t know if ticking the box gets you more mail or less.” In the case of Ucas, students didn’t dare opt out of sharing their contact data for fear of not receiving college offers.

(BILL doongz broke ah   BLID zinn.)


“Computer-experienced.” In a case appealed to the German supreme court (Bundesgerichtshof) in Karlsruhe, a spokesman for the music industry said most parents of children accused of illegal music downloads were “computer-experienced.” Yet the high court decided on 15 Nov 2012 that German parents who have informed their children about the illegality of certain downloads are not financially responsible when their children are accused of making such downloads. One of the judges said constantly checking your child’s activities as the overturned decision would have required was no way to raise a responsible young person. The music industry is still allowed to sue children directly, however.

Update on 21 Mar 2013: This decision, now called the “Morpheus” decision, has been augmented by another in Cologne stating that the main renter of a shared apartment cannot be held financially responsible for files illegally downloaded by roommates. In some cases.

Update on 08 Jan 2014: The Bundesgerichtshof in Karlsruhe decided that a father could not be sued by music companies for the downloading and uploading behavior of a child past the age of consent, even if the family apartment’s internet connection was in the father’s name. ARD’s legal correspondent Frank Bräutigam said the decision also included the conclusion that parents are no longer required to have instructed adult children about legal handling of copyrighted materials.

(ComPUTer   err FAR en.)

Kinder und Besoffene sagen die Wahrheit

“Children and drunk people speak the truth.”

(Kinder oont bahZOFF en ah zog en dee VAR height.)

Blog at