What was inBloom?

What was inBloom?
 
Initially, there were nine “pilot” states that had planned to share confidential student and teacher data with a Gates-funded corporation called inBloom Inc.  In April 2014, the NY State legislature passed legislation preventing the state education department from sharing student data with "data aggregators" such as inBloom.  Shortly thereafter, inBloom shut down operations.   

So what alarmed parents about inBloom?
  • The states once listed on the inBloom website included Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. Some states (NY and LA) planned to share the entire state’s data; others planned to share data from only selected districts.  
  • The confidential data being collected and shared included personally identifiable information, including student names, addresses, emails, photos, grades, test scores, detailed disciplinary, health and attendance records, race and ethnicity, and economic & disability status.
  • The operating system for inBloom Inc. was built by Wireless Generation, a subsidiary of News Corporation. News Corp is owned by Rupert Murdoch and has been found to illegally violate the privacy of individuals in Great Britain and in the United States.
  • The data is being stored on a data cloud managed by Amazon.com; in a recent survey, a recent survey, 86% of technology professionals said they did not trust clouds to hold their “more sensitive” data.
  • inBloom Inc. had stated that it “cannot guarantee the security of the information stored … or that the information will not be intercepted when it is being transmitted” to others.
  • inBloom planned to make this information available to for-profit vendors to help them develop and market their “learning products” and in 2015 or earlier, to charge all participating states and districts with a per student fee.

All this was happening without parental notification or consent.