New York State cut all ties with inBloom, the controversial data-mining project sponsored by the Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation.
The legislature, which totally ignored parent demands for new faces on the New York Board of Regents, bowed to parent protests against the State Education Department’s determination to share confidential student data with inBloom.
In this post, Leonie Haimson describes how parents organized–not only in New York, but wherever inBloom planned to gather confidential student data–and fought back to protect their children’s privacy.
Give Haimson credit for being the spark plug that ignited parent resistance across the nation.
Normally, the federal law called FERPA would have prevented the release of the data that inBloom planned to collect, but in 2011, the U.S. Department of Education changed the regulations to permit inBloom and other data-mining to access student data without parental consent.
Gates and Carnegie contracted with Rupert Murdoch’s Wireless Generation, and the plan was to put millions of student records in an electronic data managed by amazon.com.
No one was able to assure that the data could never be hacked.
In every state and district where inBloom thought it was operative, parents brought pressure on public officials, and the contract was severed.
At present, inBloom has no known clients.
But as Haimson points out, this could change.
The thirst for data mining seems to be insatiable, and as I posted not long ago, the president of Knewton boasted that education is one sector that is ripe for data mining and that his company and Pearson would be using online tests to gather information about every student and storing it.
Protecting student privacy must remain high on every parent’s agenda.