John Hildebrand: LI parents fight cloud service, cite privacy concerns

By | October 22, 2013

An article written by John Hildebrand of Newsday discusses concerns parents have about their children’s privacy.  Created and funded by the Gates and Carnegie Foundations with $100 million, inBloom Inc. is collecting confidential and personally identifiable student and teacher data from school districts throughout the country. This information — including student names, addresses, grades, test scores, economic, race, special education status, disciplinary status and more — is to be stored on a data cloud run by Amazon.com, with an operating system by Wireless/Amplify, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. InBloom Inc. plans to share this highly sensitive information with software companies and other for-profit vendors.

The backers of inBloom pitch the project as an effort to help students by providing more personalized learning tools, yet there are no proven benefits to online learning and there are huge risks involved in commercializing this data and storing it on a vulnerable data cloud.  In fact, inBloom itself states that it “cannot guarantee the security of the information stored in inBloom or that the information will not be intercepted when it is being transmitted.” (Source: http://www.classsizematters.org/inbloom_student_data_privacy/)

John Hildebrand writes:

Angry parents worried about their children’s privacy are fighting New York State’s turnover of 2.3 million public school students’ names and records to a private, high-tech corporation that will store and manage the records within a computerized “cloud” service.

The release of data to inBloom Inc., a nonprofit based in Atlanta, will include information on about 400,000 students on Long Island and is set to occur this fall or winter, officials said.

New York is emerging as the nation’s foremost testing ground for inBloom as other states — where parents also have protested — back out or sit on the fence. The aggressive campaign against inBloom by thousands of tweeters and bloggers is gaining political traction even as the project’s defenders strongly assert that it offers a superior level of data protection.

Read the entire article here: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/li-parents-fight-cloud-service-cite-privacy-concerns-1.6296312

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *