The NYS Senate and Governor Cuomo Fail to Take Action to Protect Student Privacy During the Last Few Days of Legislative Session
In the last few days of the legislative session, two bills to protect student privacy were approved by the NY Assembly. They approved A.7872, introduced by Education Chair Cathy Nolan, which would allow parents to opt out of their children’s personal identifiable information from being shared with third parties, and A.6059A, introduced earlier by Assemblymember O'Donnell, that would block re-disclosures (as inBloom plans to do) to third parties without parental consent.
Unfortunately, the Senate did not act on either of these bills, or a similar bill to protect student privacy, introduced by Senator Grisanti, S.4284, that had strong bipartisan support. Despite the fact that nearly 3,000 parents had signed a petition to the Governor, asking him to intercede on their behalf earlier in the year, and our meeting with Cuomo's top Education aide, De' Shawn Wright, about this, the Governor did nothing on this issue either.
At this juncture, the NY State Education Department continues to ignore the protests of parents and the concerns of elected officials, and is going ahead with a risky and unethical plan to share the most confidential, sensitive information of ALL New York’s public school students with inBloom Inc., to be uploaded onto a vulnerable data cloud and provided to for-profit vendors without parental consent. They are requiring that all districts sign up for “Education Data Portals” or data dashboards by the fall, provided by three different vendors, that will draw personal student data from the inBloom cloud.
We will be continuing our fight to protect student privacy and parental rights. If you live in districts represented by Senators Jeff Klein, Dean Skelos or John Flanagan, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org ; please also contact your school board about this issue. We will have sample letters soon.
The press release put out by Speaker Silver about the passage of the Nolan bill is here. Here is a letter from Lisa Rudley, a parent leader that appeared last week, about this fundamental violation of student privacy, exhorting the Senate to allow parents to protect their children. Here is a recent article, called “School Data Profiteering” from Dollars and Sense about inBloom. For more newsclips, check out our website here.