Virtually all of what social scientists know about education is built on the presumption that education is a right guaranteed, if not necessarily provided, by governments. Throughout the twentieth century most educational data were produced and analyzed with government patronage, with the resulting knowledge deployed to nurture modern citizens and build modern states. Very recently, proprietary firms are producing huge new stores of education data through digitally mediated instruction. They also are underwriting scientific inquiry with these data in the interest of improving privately-owned educational products and services. This represents a major change in the ecology of educational knowledge production that has been largely overlooked by observers of the digital revolution in education. This lecture provides a synthetic description of this change and specifies its implications for education science, governments, education businesses, and citizenship in the twenty-first century.