Posts Tagged ‘In Bloom’

Warning to Chicago about threat to student privacy

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Telescope 2From NYC’s Leonie Haimson:

Dear Karen Lewis and other Chicago friends and allies (among the SOS folks):

Thank you for fighting so valiantly to preserve public education in Chicago.  We are all with you in spirit.

I wanted to alert you to yet another real threat to your schools.

Yesterday, Stephanie Simon of Reuters revealed that at least four states have pulled out of the data mining Gates-funded operation called inBloom Inc., because of privacy concerns and protests from parents, and several others are reconsidering.  Only three states remain currently involved, NY, CO and IL.

Yet she also revealed that Illinois plans to expand inBloom data sharing and data mining to 35 districts serving half a million students starting in 2015.

Here is the list of these “RTT” districts, which includes the Chicago public schools (D 299).

inBloom violates teacher privacy as well as student privacy; see Anthony Cody about how:

Will the Data Warehouse Become Every Student and Teacher’s “Permanent Record”?

Anthony doesn’t mention one of the biggest threats – the ultimate goal is to replace teachers with software programs and increase class size to huge levels as you can see in the inBloom promotional video.

inBloom is collecting more than 400 data points – and some of the most sensitive information one can possibly imagine.  We got a list straight off the inBloom website. An excerpt with some of the most troubling data can be downloaded here, as a pdf. And the longer version can be downloaded here: full data elements.

Even if one believes in the efficacy of online learning, data clouds are notoriously vulnerable, and inBloom has stated that it will not be responsible if the data breaches in storage or transmission.  Please be aware of this huge threat to your children’s privacy and safety as well as that of teachers.

If you’d like more information on inBloom and their goal to commercialize student data and provide it to as many for-profit vendors as possible, you can check out my inBloom page here, with links to (now many) news articles, documents etc.

Support PURE!
About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.