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Parents Sue to Protect Students' Personal Info

Parents Sue to Protect Students' Personal Info

Albany - (WALK)  A group of New York parents are suing to block the state Department of Education from using a private company to store the names and confidential information of 2.3 million students, including as many as 400,000 students on Long Island.

The suit was filed in State Supreme Court in Albany by New York City parents who are concerned about the potential harm if security is breached at inBloom, an Atlanta-based non-profit company. A judge denied the parents request for a temporary restraining order Wednesday, but parties are scheduled to return to court on December 6th.

State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr., addressed concerns about the confidentiality of students' records expressed by Long Island parents this week during a public hearing about Common Core curriculum held at Ward Melville High School in East Setauket.

King said students' personal information is protected by federal law, cannot be sold or shared by a third party, and files are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.  New York is reportedly spending more than $50 million for technology to ensure privacy.

Currently, student records including test scores, health-status, disabilities and disciplinary history are stored on state computers. A transfer to inBloom is expected later this fall or early in 2014.  Then files will be stored by inBloom in a "cloud" service, according to state officials. The cloud storage plan is reportedly underwritten by $100 million from computer giant Bill Gate's family foundation.

New York is one of nine U.S. states who may send students' information to inBloom. Massachusetts tabled its plan; seven states reportedly decided against the move.

Photo: Tom Stefanac


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