Thursday, May 29, 2014

NYC Public School Parents: 20 million student records put at risk by ConnectEDU's bankruptcy -- & what lessons if any have tech enthusiasts learned from the inBloom debacle?

NYC Public School Parents: 20 million student records put at risk by ConnectEDU's bankruptcy -- & what lessons if any have tech enthusiasts learned from the inBloom debacle?:



20 million student records put at risk by ConnectEDU's bankruptcy -- & what lessons if any have tech enthusiasts learned from the inBloom debacle?

ConnectEDU was one of the three data dashboard companies chosen by the NY State Education Department to receive a statewide set of personal student data through the inBloom data cloud, as part of their "EngageNY Portal."  Now ConnectEDU has announced it has gone bankrupt, despite receiving a $500,000 grant from the Gates Foundation less than a year ago.  Until recently, Ted Mitchell sat on its Board of Directors, formerly the head of the New School Ventures Fund, and the recently confirmed Under Secretary to Arne Duncan at the US Department of Education.

The assets of ConnectEDU, including 20 million personal student records, are being bought by a venture capital company called North Atlantic Capital.  Now the FTC is stepping in, to try to block the handing over of all these personal records.  According to Education Week:

The potential sale of 20 million student records by ConnectEDU, an ed-tech company that filed for bankruptcy in April, has prompted the Federal Trade Commission to step in to protect the student data, the agency announced Friday.

ConnectEDU, a 12-year-old Boston-based company, provides interactive tools to help K-12 and post-secondary learners make academic and career decisions. In its privacy policy, ConnectEDU promised that—prior to any sale of the company—registered users would be notified and have the ability to delete their personally identifiable data.

Now, the FTC said that promise appears to be compromised by the potential sale of the company's assets, including the student data, to North Atlantic Capital, a Portland, Me.-based venture capital fund. As a result, the commission—by a vote of 5-0—authorized its consumer protection bureau to write a letter to the bankruptcy court that will rule on the asset sale.

The letter indicates that the terms of the sale of the company and its subsidiary Academic Management Systems Inc. in NYC Public School Parents: 20 million student records put at risk by ConnectEDU's bankruptcy -- & what lessons if any have tech enthusiasts learned from the inBloom debacle?:

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