In this post, New York City activist Leonie Haimson explains what inBloom is, how the U.S. Department of Education weakened privacy protections in 2009 and 2011, and why parents should demand the right to withhold their child’s confidential data from inBloom.

The creators of inBloom talk about its benefits in creating customized learning tools, but Haimson warns that the real goal is to turn student data over to for-profit vendors that will target children for marketing their stuff.

An investigative journalist is needed to figure out why Arne Duncan’s Department of Education weakened FERPA, the federal law protecting student privacy, at the same time that Race to the Top offered incentives for states to build data warehouses, and along comes inBloom to open up student data for use by vendors. It is all too neat a package.