‘inBloom’ Database Shares Student Information With Companies

UPDATEinBloom Account Director Barbara Roos contacted The Inquisitr to discuss some information circulating online about the student database which she feels in inaccurate. Roos said that school districts retain ownership of the student details in the database and choose what information to disclose. The third party providers are reportedly only allowed to use the data for specifically contracted reasons. Roos did confirm that parental consent is not required for the release of their child’s personal information.

When touching upon the possibility of identity theft, the inBloom representative said, “We understand how important every child’s privacy is, and that’s why data security is such a high priority for inBloom. While in this day and age no security protections can be 100 percent guaranteed, inBloom has greatly improved student data protection beyond the measures currently used by most school systems.”

She went on to say that a data breach is unlikely and noted that student information is encrypted. While the reportedly tight security measures may reduce some parental concerns, it still does nothing to address the frustration about personal information being shared without the consent of parents.

The inBloom database reportedly contains the student names, addresses, phone number, social security numbers, photos, and school achievement and attendance particulars. During the recent South by Southwest Education Technology Conference in Texas, the inBloom project was unveiled. The Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation reportedly funded a database containing the personal information of public school students from across the nation. .

The inBloom database reportedly has support in nine states thus far. The states where the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation funded project reportedly include North Carolina, Kentucky, Colorado, New York, Illinois, Georgia, and Delaware.

The database containing personal information of public school students will reportedly allow free sharing of the data with companies from around the nation. The reports will allegedly be used to “tailor” educational resources to fit the needs of the students. Information about the children’s hobbies, attitudes, and interests are also allegedly a part of the inBloom database project.

Parental consent for the sharing of their children’s personal information is not reportedly necessary for inclusion in the $100 million inBloom database. School administrators are allegedly the ones who decide whether or not participation in the database will occur. Parents reportedly do not have the ability to opt out of inclusion.

A line in inBloom’s privacy statement reported reads the project “cannot guarantee the security of the information stored” or that the details will not be “intercepted” during the transmission process. The inBloom project also does not take responsibility for any damage which could occur if the child’s personal information is illegally viewed. Parents concerned, or outright angry, about the inBloom database cite identity theft at the top of their worry list.

The federal Department of Education reportedly feels that sharing student date with a company focused on education or technology does not require parental consent.

What do you think about the inBloom database?

[Image Via: Shutterstock.com]

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