Assemblymember Solages is Fighting to Protect Students’ Right to Privacy

Assemblymember Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont) announced the Assembly passed legislation that allows parents of students – and students age 18 or older – to opt out of the state Education Department’s disclosure of personal identifiable information to a third party (A.7872-A).

New York State recently agreed to share confidential student information with inBloom Inc. (formerly known as the Shared Learning Collaborative). A database will compile private student information on behalf of the state Education Department.

Assemblymember Solages noted that she, as well as many parents, have serious concerns about the security of storing the information. The personal information could include names, Social Security Numbers, fingerprints and other sensitive information used to identify students.

“It’s inexcusable that parents were not offered an opt-out option. Before sensitive information about students is shared, parents must be given the chance to say no,” Assemblymember Solages said. “In this day and age, with the rampant growth of technology and information flow, it’s vitally important that families are given the right to keep their children’s information from being released to for-profit companies and potentially compromised.”

The Assembly’s legislation allows parents and students to opt out of the distribution of personally identifiable student information to inBloom Inc. and to other third-party companies; it also directs the state Education Department to develop the necessary information and forms necessary for parents and students to do so.

“It’s unthinkable that a child’s personal information could become compromised before they even reach middle school,” Assemblymember Michaelle Solages said. “I have a lot of concerns about very sensitive information regarding a student being released to a third party and possibly being further distributed to other unauthorized companies. It’s troubling, and parents must be provided an easy way to say no.”