New York State Begins Massive Surveillance Program of Students Aged 5 and Over
ANCHOR: “Now New York state authorities is planning to step of surveillance, this time on school kids. The program, which is to be launched statewide, is supposed to gather information on students starting from the age of five. And as RT’s Marina Portnaya reports, the move is finding little support among parents.
PORTNAYA: “A new data gathering program in New York state shows that not even America’s youngest citizens can be spared from having their personal information collected and stored. The Department of Education is creating a statewide database that will include the names, addresses, test scores, learning disabilities, attendance, and disciplinary records of every single public school student. The data collection begins at the age of five, and a private company called inBloom, has been contracted to store and protect the records of 3.6 million students. Education officials say the program can help companies to produce teaching material to student needs. However, parents are not buying it. More than 4,000 have signed a position rejecting the inBloom program, including Karen Sprowal, who spoke with RT about her concerns for her 10-year-old son and millions of others.”
SPROWAL: “The New York state department did not notify parents, they did not give — ask for consent. We kind of just stumbled upon it and discovered it. It just seems like parents were taken out of the equation completely in terms of protecting their children’s privacy. We were not aware that New York state made a deal with Bill Gates’ inBloom, non-profit organization, to upload all of our children’s data — this includes the parents’ data as well — for the purpose of personalized learning. For me, this is particularly alarming because my child has special needs and his school records are essentially his medical records. Whereas in any other instance, releases would have to be signed for any of that information to be released to a third party. You don’t even know who would have access to your child’s records. If there’s breeches you wouldn’t even know because it’s so massive and the extent to the information being uploaded is so huge that it would be available to many different third-party vendors and entities that we have no idea who they are and what information would be released to them. It’s horrifying to me as a parent.”
PORTNAYA: “New York officials say the inBloom Student Data Program will begin in April. In the mean time, thousands of parents say they are prepared to fight the state tooth and nail in order to protect their children’s privacy. Reporting from New York, Marina Portnaya, RT.”
New York delays InBloom student database launch until next school year (lohud.com)
ALBANY — A statewide database of identifiable student information has been delayed to the start of the next school year, according to the state Education Department.
New York had pledged by January to share data on its students — including names and addresses — with inBloom, a non-profit funded by the Gates Foundation. But the release of the information to inBloom was later delayed to April at the earliest amid concerns from parents and lawmakers.
Now the database, known as EngageNY, isn’t expected to be fully up and running until September, with the remaining data on 2.5 million students sent to inBloom two months prior to its launch, according to an Education Department spokesman.