Google Is Tracking Students As It Sells More Products To Schools, Privacy Advocates Warn
by Andrea Peterson, Washington Post
In public classrooms across the country, the corporate name that is fast becoming as common as pencils and erasers is Google.
More than half of K-12 laptops or tablets purchased by U.S. schools in the third quarter were Chromebooks, cheap laptops that run Google software. Beyond its famed Web search, the company freely offers word processing and other software to schools. In total, Google programs are used by more than 50 million students and teachers around the world, the company says.
But Google is also tracking what those students are doing on its services and using some of that information to sell targeted ads, according to a complaint filed with federal officials by a leading privacy advocacy group.
And because of the arrangement between Google and many public schools, parents often can’t keep the company from collecting their children’s data, privacy experts say.
“In some of the schools we’ve talked to parents about, there’s literally no ability to say, ‘no,’” said Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Related: Read more here about the 2014 California law (SB 1177, Steinberg) that CFC Executive Director Richard Holober called “the vanguard for consumer rights in the digital era.”
Tags: 2015 Legislation, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Google, Online Privacy, Privacy