- The Chronicle reports on the growing connections between students and the services they utilize on campus, like ride sharing, dormitory living, healthcare and food service, which can collect data and form trend profiles of individuals and entire campuses.
- The growth is part of the rise of the Internet of Things movement, which will soon convert common devices and spaces into data-gathering machines; more than 20 billion by 2020, according to some estimates.
- Private companies developing facilities and technology for institutions will benefit from this growth, because their products will be equipped with data-gathering features which schools won't control and may be willing to buy to improve the campus experience.
Colleges and universities are supposed to be the leaders in the development of IoT technologies and devices, but it makes sense for executives seeking alternative revenue streams to lease their campuses and student data to companies working to learn more about markets and demographics.
Thousands of companies are willing to pay billions for access to consumption and living habits, in order to better target customers seeking authentic and convenient experiences. Even if campuses aren't strong enough in computer science or engineering to create the networks and systems internally, they can treat the campus as some of the largest "your ad here" spaces in the country.