Parents win against cloud storage of US students’ private information

Published April 24, 2014   |   
Lisa Vaas

People are a little touchy about data collection nowadays.

They were most certainly touchy about inBloom, a non-profit that was offering to house and manage student data for public school districts across the US by extracting a dizzying array of information – we’re talking 400 data fields – from disparate school databases as well as from new, optional, sometimes intrusive categories that inBloom also offered.

Since inBloom’s rollout in 2013, privacy and security experts and parents have been aghast at schools sucking up everything from students’ tax ID numbers to intimate family details (including options to identify family members as “foster parent” or “father’s significant other”) with inBloom.

That outrage spelled doom for inBloom, which announced on Monday that it’s closing up shop.

inBloom CEO Iwan Streichenberger said in a post that the progress of the platform – which stored the extracted student data in the cloud and then fed it back via dashboards for teachers to track the progress of individual students – was hamstrung by the fact that the public furrowed its brow over data misuse:

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