A PR person who has apparently been retained to represent inBloom strenuously objected to Greg's characterization of her client's practices below. She sent me an email, which I've posted to the comments
. I've also made a factual correction, regarding constraints, below (look for the strikethrough)
Greg Costikyan sez,
inBloom, a Gates-funded non-profit to harness data to improve grade school education, has partnered with New York and eight other states to encourage the development of apps to "further education" by using intimate data about students, without parental consent and with no ability for parents to opt out.
Among the data shared are name, address, phone numbers, test scores, grades, economic status, test scores, disciplinary records, picture, email, race, developmental delay... just about everything conceivable, and all specific, none of it anonymized.
inBloom has arrangements with nine states (New York, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, Delaware and Kentucky) to do this.
The XML schema used are downloadable here.
Anyone can register as a developer and start using "sample" data, but "real" data is supposedly only available to developers with contracts with a school board. But this includes for-profit, third party developers, such as, say, Amplify, a News Corp subsidiary with a contract with New York.
And it doesn't appear there are any constraints on their use of this data. Ed: apparently constraints can be imposed by districts and states, though the system can allow unconstrained access if the district/state chooses.
Who is Stockpiling and Sharing Private Information About New York Students?
Well, this sounds like potentially a pretty big deal. Facebook is using smartphone location data to recommend new friends to users, which suggests many possible privacy invasions. This is also a technique NSA uses to track surveillance targets.
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