NEW YORK Furious parents gathered on Monday night to blast the New York City Department of Education's plans to allow a private company to collect student data, including personal and health information.
As CBS New York reports, the department has agreed to share the data with inBloom Inc., a non-profit funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The data will include children's names, street addresses, email addresses, test scores, race, economic status, and special education status, parents said. Detailed disciplinary and health records may also be included, parents said.
The data will be stored on a cloud server built by Wireless/Amplify, a firm owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, according to published reports.
The department said the purpose is to help link the data to future learning tools.
But at a town hall meeting at the Brooklyn Borough Hall, parents were wondering where all the data might end up.
"All this information is data-mining children," one woman said. "I consider it identity theft."
The department sent Deputy Chief Academic Officer Adina Lopatin to ensure parents that security measures are in place, and privacy is protected at the highest level.
"Federal law governs how student educational records are used and shared," she said.
But parents from Queens said families should still have a choice.
"It's outrageous that the state has the contempt to not even ask us, or to allow us to opt out of it," one man said.
The New York Civil Liberties Union and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio have also blasted the move.