So, let's make a quick review of where the states and districts now stand that inBloom still claims as "partners":
- John White, the Louisiana State Superintendent announced a few weeks ago he was pulling all student data out of the inBloom cloud because of protests and privacy concerns of parents.
- Georgia, Delaware and Kentucky, all three states listed on the inBloom website as "Phase II" states, due to start piloting the system in 2013, have now said that they too are not planning to participate.
- A high-ranking Massachusetts education official recently wrote that they reconsidering their plan to share the data from their one "pilot" district, Everett, until they reassess "the security risks."
- Another pilot district, Guilford NC, has said that "the pilot program was still very much in the conceptual stage and that GCS had not even seen as much of a product demonstration at this early point in the process.”
- Officials from Jefferson County in Colorado have told parents that though they still intend to go through with this risky plan, "
- Illinois officials have revealed that Unit 5 in Normal is not sharing its data with inBloom, though District 87 in Bloomington is still apparently participating.
Compare the above to what is still listed today on the inBloom website:
How could anyone trust those who are running inBloom, when the reality is so far off from their claims?
Now I don't believe that anyone should be complacent. Given the huge secrecy surrounding this project, the fact that none of the original group of states and districts told parents anything about it, and the manner in which New York state moved from sharing only NYC data to student information statewide, the privacy and security of students are likely at risk in many states.
Moreover, some of the pilot districts listed above may still be intent on participating if and when the furor dies down. inBloom and the Gates Foundation are still surely offering them substantial financial incentives to agree to go through with this dangerous scheme.
In fact, it is likely that as the officials at Gates Foundation see their grand project slipping between their fingers, the promises of financial incentives will grow even larger. After all, Gates is by far the wealthiest foundation in the world, with more than 36 billion dollars in assets, and they are not going to let their $100 million investment die so easily. (Though if they were smart they would let it go, as they have an even larger investment in the Common Core, and the role of inBloom in collecting and disclosing children's private data to vendors arises repeatedly in many of the critiques of the Common Core, even in states that have never openly expressed any intention in sharing their data with the corporation.)
All parents need to remain vigilant and active; and those in Massachusetts and Colorado should join others organizing against inBloom. But let's hope that as this project is increasingly unmasked as the unethical and toxic enterprise that it is, more states see reason and decide to pull out -- especially New York, which by its unwavering determination is proving to be the most reckless state with student privacy in the nation.
See below; a video interview from RT TV with Kade Crockford of the Massachusetts ACLU about inBloom: