Here are two simple steps you can take to protect your child’s privacy

Districts are being mandated by New York State Education Department (NYSED) to sign up with one of three companies by Sept. 27 that will produce data dashboards, to be populated from the inBloom cloud. Furthermore, the State Education Dept. is encouraging districts to provide even more confidential student data to inBloom and to the vendors producing the dashboards – as well as to other companies that will be providing software “learning tools.”

Below you can find two sample e-mails that you can send to the New York State Education Department and to the District Superintendent (or if in New York City, Chancellor Dennis Walcott at Feel free to copy and paste; for the first letter, NYSED is demanded the email include a scanned copy of a notarized Identity Verification and Authorization form, which is linked to here.

NYSED also insists on charging parents 25 cents per page for a copy of their children’s records, though of course, they are providing this information to inBloom Inc. and vendors for free.

Privacy Compliance Officer/ Records Access Officer
NY State Education Dept.
Albany, NY
Via e-mail or snail mail
89 Washington Ave, Room 121 EB
Albany, NY 12234

Dear Privacy Compliance Officer/Records Access Officer:

Under the provisions of the Personal Privacy Protection Law, Article 6-A of the Public Officers Law, I hereby request copies of all the records and data that you have in your possession pertaining to my minor child, [name], as well as the names of entities or organizations to which you have disclosed any such information, including inBloom Inc.

My child [name] is in [x grade] in [x school] in [x school district] this year. Last year, s/he attended [x grade] at [x school] in [x district]. Please inform me of all the data/records about my child you have provided to third parties including inBloom Inc. , for as many years as you have provided this data, and the dates of any such disclosures, as required by S. 94 (3) of the Personal Privacy Protection Law.

If you have not yet disclosed these records, please let me know when this will occur and what specific data and records of my child you plan to disclose.  If there are any fees for this request, please inform me before you complete the request.

If all or any part of this request is denied, please cite the reason(s) which you think justifies your refusal to release the information. As you know, the Personal Privacy Protection Law requires that an agency respond to a request within five business days of its receipt. Also, please inform me of your agency’s appeal procedure.

In order to expedite consideration of my request, I am attaching a scanned version of a notarized Identity Verification and Authorization form.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Name /e-mail/phone/street address/ Town or city/ zip

Dear District Superintendent [or Chancellor Walcott, if in New York City]:

I am a parent with a child [name] in [x grade] in [name], a district public school.

As you are aware, most of the districts in the state have been mandated to sign up with companies that will produce data dashboards populated through the inBloom cloud.  While the State Education Department has written in its latest FAQ,  dated July 29, 2013 that “NYSED is not aware of additional disclosure, notification or opt out requirements for districts supplying data for tools that directly support instruction and program improvement like those currently provided in school districts and those provided in the ENYP,” there is nothing in NYSED’s instructions or the law that would or should stop any district from allowing parents to opt their children’s data out of this scheme, which in my view, puts my child’s privacy and security at risk.

Thus, I ask that you abide by my wishes, and ensure that my child’s personal data is not shared with any vendors, including the companies that will be providing the data dashboards.

Please let me know if you will respect my request.

Yours sincerely,

Name, parent of [X child] in [X grade] in [X school].
E-mail, phone, address

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on September 11, 2013

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