[IAEP] "Google accused of tracking school kids after it promised not to"

Adam Holt holt at laptop.org
Wed Dec 2 10:33:40 EST 2015

Electronic Frontier Foundation* says Google collects data from students and
uses it to target ads and improve its products*.

"The digital rights group said Google’s use of the data, collected through
its Google for Education program, puts the company in breach of Section 5
of the Federal Communications Act and asked the Federal Trade Commission
<https://www.eff.org/files/2015/12/01/ftccomplaint-googleforeducation.pdf> to

Despite publicly promising not to, Google mines students’ browsing data and
other information, and uses it for the company’s own purposes,” the EFF said

"Last month, Google said more than 50 million
and teachers around the globe were using Google Apps for Education, along
with 10 million Chromebooks. The Google-powered laptops are “the
best-selling device in U.S. K-12 schools,” according to Google.

But the EFF has some issues with the way Google delivers those services. It
says the company records everything students do while they’re logged into
their Google accounts, regardless of the device or browser they’re using,
including their search history, the search results they click on and the
videos they watch on YouTube.

Google aggregates and anonymizes the data collected through its education
services, the EFF said, but not when the students are using other Google
services. And it argues that truly anonymizing data is “difficult to the
point of being impossible,” especially when it’s tied to identifiable
accounts at the time of collection.

Google’s practices “fly in the face of commitments made when it signed
the Student
Privacy Pledge <http://studentprivacypledge.org/>,” the EFF said, referring
to a document signed by 200 companies including Google, Microsoft and

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