Monrovia Unified School District Extends Social Media Monitoring to 1 Mile Radius Around Schools



Monrovia High School and Canyon Oaks High School Extend Social Media Monitoring


EVERYONE within a 1 Mile Radius

Every so often,  I find myself horrified by Social Media’s invasion of my privacy.    Just this week, I learned that Monrivia Unified School District in California is extending social media monitoring to a 1-mile radius in spite of California Student Social-Media Privacy Law – AB 1442 through a contract with Geo Listening that was approved in the September 24, 2014 school board meeting.

This means everyone within a 1-mile radius of the school will be monitored.  Social channels including Facebook and Instagram will be monitored.

As a technologist, I’ve known for a long time that data posted on social media is not private, yet the ability for a government agency to monitor social media channels of neighborhoods and nearby businesses without cause is a blatant invasion of our right to privacy, in my opinion.

When you combine these actions with Facebook’s recent actions of seemingly randomly locking users accounts, then requiring the user to upload a government issued photo id (see below), one becomes even more alarmed.  You likely have already read about Facebook’s Emotion Manipulation Study, and the subsequent effort documented on Forbes by Just B.V. to encourage users to quite Facebook for 99 days.

“We haven’t looked at the harms or invasiveness that comes along with these Big Data dives,” says Paul Ohm, a law professor at the University of Colorado, in the Forbes article.

Is social media monitoring going too far?

As a CEO, I can assure you, these companies know exactly what they are doing and the limits they are pushing when allowing social media monitoring or when mining all the data they are collecting about their users.


Social Media Monitoring at Facebook



Facebook is likely the biggest culprit of social media monitoring and it’s particularly disconcerting when combined with their fastest growth demographic – seniors.

My mother is one of the many elderly individuals joining Facebook to reconnect with friends and keep up with kids and grandchildren.

This morning, I received a call from her asking how to upload a government id card to Facebook – wait, what???

After a series of questions, I learned that her account was randomly locked by Facebook.  Since she does not own a smart phone, nor has she ever accessed Facebook from a mobile phone, her only option is to upload a photo id.

Facebook  suggests that she upload a qualifying document, such as a Drivers License, Birth Certificate or Social Security Card (see screen shots).

It is certainly cause for alarm when Facebook asks for our Social Security Numbers and Birth Certificates, particularly when you combine the risks of identify theft with the already abusive behavior Facebook has demonstrated in regard to your personal information and the ability of social media monitoring tools provided by Geo Listening and others, that allow government agencies and businesses wanting to market to you, access to your posts.

As for Facebook’s request for my mother’s Government Issued ID, is this really necessary in order to share pictures with our friends and family?




Perhaps, I am over reacting, but this further supports a position I’ve long held since Facebook first hit the scene. I do not share anything on social media that is private or anything that could not be generally published and that goes for pictures of my kids – sorry grandma.


Where Does Cloud Softwares Draw the Line?

And, where do we draw the line, when it comes to businesses placing their corporate information on cloud software tools?

I can’t speak for other cloud software providers, but here at GivingTrax, which offers cloud software and a social network for corporate philanthropy and employee giving programs, our core premise is ensuring all data is private unless our members choose to publish something by taking specific action to do so.

I’m proud to say, we are not mining data nor making our members’ private data accessible to spyware or other social media monitoring tools.