Update on inBloom Student Data Cloud

The private non-profit corporation contracted to store and manage student data for the State of New York failed to turn up at a State Assembly hearing on November 20. The corporation, inBloom, is launching what it calls a secure cloud system for student data; inBloom hoped to offer a low-cost system nationwide but has met with criticism around student privacy. The Times Union, a newspaper covering the New York region, published inBloom’s Wednesday email: “Due to prior commitments, inBloom informed Assemblyman Nolan that we were unable to send a representative to today’s meeting.”

The hearing reportedly lasted for most of the day, however, and Assembly members did not receive the news well. Assembly Education Committee chairwoman, Cathy Nolan, called the failure to appear a “red flag,” adding: “It doesn’t speak well when people say they won’t come and talk to us.

Last week, New York City parents filed suit to stop inBloom from sharing student data. Parents were not granted an injunction but did get a court date of December 6. This is prior to the point at which inBloom plans to release any data.

Of the original nine states planning to participate in the inBloom pilot, only New York and Illinois remain. Community members in the Chicago area have also been organized to voice concerns about data privacy and the end-users of the data cloud.

–Virginia Spatz, reporting,
from the November 21 broadcast of The Education Town Hall on We Act Radio. TuneIn Thursdays at 11 a.m. Eastern on-line or on WPWC 1480 AM in the DC area.

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