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Opposition to data mining by parents, schools forces inBloom to shut down

Bill Gates, whose foundation helped provide $100 million dollars as start-up money to InBloom
Bill Gates, whose foundation helped provide $100 million dollars as start-up money to InBloom
photo via commons.wikimedia.org

On April 21, 2014, the New York Times ran an article announcing the closing of inBloom, a company funded by a $100 million grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York for the purpose of storing data gathered from students all across the country.Nine states initially agreed to partner with inBloom, but by April 2, 2014, all nine had either pulled out of the arrangement, put their data sharing plans on hold indefinitely, or allowed state school districts to choose whether or not to participate. The decision was announced by inBloom CEO Iwan Streichenberger, who stated that the company and its purpose had been the "subject of mischaracterizations and a lightning rod for misdirected criticism".

Concern about the approximately 400 data points to be gathered on each school child, including highly personal information, as well as over the nationally developed curriculum standards that are part of the Common Core Standards Initiative, has resulted in opposition from parents and schools across the country. Although the Common Core website denies that a national database of student information will result from the implementation of the proposed standards, many people have become concerned about the purpose and security of such data collection.