inBloom Controversy Continues

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inBloom Controversy Continues

Apr 10, 2013

BLOOMIN' CONTROVERSY: inBloom continues to ignite passions. You'll recall that inBloom, a nonprofit with hefty funding from the Gates Foundation, hopes to provide states and public school districts with firehoses of student data to help make personalized learning a reality. inBloom points out that it's just technology: schools and districts are supposed to establish the rules about who collects--and sees--what data. But concerns--and tempers--have continued to flare. Blogger Audrey Watters here poses some FAQs to the inBloom management, which provides thoughtful answers. (The discussion grows fangs in the feedback.)

The debate reminds us of some of the concerns--both legitimate and overblown--about health care data. Way back in 2011, both Microsoft and Google debuted systems for collecting and sharing patients' medical records. (Here's summary.) Microsoft's Health Vault continues. In June 2011, Google said it would fold its program and encouraged users to switch to Microsoft's HealthVault.

Google's killer point: "When we launched Google Health, our goal was to create a service that would give people access to their personal health and wellness information....Now, with a few years of experience, we’ve observed that Google Health is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would...." (Here's the full release.)

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