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Privacy Concerns Grow Over Gates-Funded Student Database

Jun 10, 2013 by

There’s another large database of information that’s prompting alarm – except this time it’s metadata on minors.

Oh, and did we mention it’s under the control of Microsoft mogul Bill Gates?enlightened

The Washington Post reports:

Privacy concerns are growing among parents, educators and some state officials about a Gates Foundation-funded project that is storing an unprecedented amount of personal information about millions of students in a $100 million database that cannot guarantee complete security. …

By Reuters’ reckoning, of the nine states originally listed as participating, only three are actively involved — New York, Illinois and Colorado. (The others have backed out or are having second thoughts).

The database, funded largely with money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was launched in March at the SXSWedu conference in Texas.

Supporters say that states already collect the information and that collecting it one place makes it easier for teachers to “plumb” data about their students and target software to improve their academic performance. …

Opponents say that the amount of information is unprecedented — including, for example, learning disabilities, health records, teacher assessments of a student’s character – and that having it in a single place makes it easier to exploit. Parents, they say, were never asked for permission by districts or states to share their child’s data, and inBloom doesn’t guarantee total security of the information. The nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued the U.S. Education Department over the database, calling it a serious threat to student privacy.

Read more.

Privacy Concerns Grow Over Gates-Funded Student Database.

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