NYC Parents File Lawsuit to Block State from Sharing Student Data

Parents are concerned about plans to store student data on the Internet through a private firm

A group of New York City public school parents filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block state education officials from sharing student information with the data-storage firm inBloom.

The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Albany, is based on the claim that disclosing identifiable student data without parental consent violates state privacy laws.

Karen Sprowal, a petitioner in the lawsuit, said she is concerned about her fifth-grade son's personal data being shared.

"Any information that is let loose on the Internet can never be retrieved, and any breach or misuse of this data could harm his prospects for life, by impairing his ability to be admitted to college or get a good job," Sprowal said.

New York has signed up with Atlanta-based inBloom, which has received $100 million in grant money to create a system to store student data on servers accessed through the Internet.

Parents in New York and elsewhere have raised privacy concerns about the company.

A spokesman for the state Education Department said the department could not comment on pending litigation.

A spokesman for inBloom said he could not comment either. He added, "Like New York state, we believe technology will continue to play an increasingly important role in supporting teachers, students and families."

A hearing on the lawsuit was scheduled for Dec. 6.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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