Friday, March 08, 2013

Maybe I Should Buy Now

The problem with inBloom as currently described is that if information is power, they're talking about investing incredible power in a new organization of dubious provenance. Once you put all that data in one place, who knows what comes next -- even if they follow the law and don't get hacked.

When the national credit bureaus got started (in 1899!), I doubt they foresaw companies requiring a credit check for potential hires, or using them to screen people they might date, or that they'd make a lot of money getting people to pay to check their own records for errors. Once you create the resource, it takes on a life of its own. Even for "non-profits," I doubt when AP started anybody thought it would or should achieve the scale it has now.

For example, it is easy to imagine that if inBloom works as they hope, that colleges admissions would just start getting their academic data straight from inBloom. It would be more convenient. If they're doing that, why not start incorporating more data into that report than just a transcript. Why not make a student's entire academic record more like a credit report? They have the data, so why not? Why shouldn't an internship or job application ask for it too? If a kid is late on his Khan Academy quizzes, why shouldn't a future employer know that? It's relevant! If you don't want to give up the info, there are 10 other kids looking for a summer job who will!

Even if that's not where they want to go with this, it'll take on a life of its own.

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