There is a law in place to prevent the school system from evading these restrictions. They are breaking that law. They should have consulted a lawyer before contracting the company to spy on students for them.
The information may be public, but the fact that they are students living in a specific school district, attending a specific school, and having specific email addresses used by the students to access online services, is not public. Geolistening has absolutely no right to student rosters, email addresses, or any other identifiable information that would lead to the company to be able to track and find the students attending schools in the district on the web.
From the California Education Code (emphasis mine):
49073. School districts shall adopt a policy identifying those categories of directory information as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 49061 that may be released. The district shall determine which individuals, officials, or organizations may receive directory information. However, no information may be released to a private profitmaking entity other than employers, prospective employers, and representatives of the news media, including, but not limited to, newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations.
It goes on to give exceptions for private schools and colleges that students wish to attend. Here's the definition of "directory information":
"Directory information" means one or more of the following items: pupil's name, address, telephone number, date of birth, email address, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous public or private school attended by the pupil.
Geolistening is a private profit-making entity, and, therefore, are not allowed to be given any identifiable information about students. Therefore, the Glendale School District is breaking the law.
Has politicians in its pocket? I think you mean on their boards of directors. Politicians and lawyers are the ones who actually say what gets made, who gets to record, how the recording gets done, who artists get to collaborate with, who & what gets air time, who gets to have every move they make unknowingly sabotaged, etc. Artists don't have a say in their craft anymore.
The RIAA is not working for the artists, it's working for the politicians and lawyers that own the artists and their works (yes, the artists themselves and every bit of creativity that comes out of them).
Check out the documentaries Strong Enough to Break (posted by its makers for free on YouTube) and Before the Music Dies. (posted for free by its makers on Hulu). Those films are eye-openers into the modern world of music! Those films are why I outright refuse to listen to any non-independent artists.
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