The US state of New Mexico has sued Google for collecting student data through Google Education, writes The Wall Street Journal Thursday. Google Education is an online education platform that makes the American company available to schools for free. Dutch schools also make use of this.
The state says that Google has used the platform to circumvent privacy laws and gain access to children's personal information. Google should have asked parents for permission and the company would not have done that.
The indictment states that Google collected a lot of personal information from the students, including students' physical locations, searches on the internet, watched videos on YouTube, contact lists, voice recordings and saved passwords.
Google would do this by encouraging students to use their Google Education login data to access their Google accounts. As soon as students are logged in there, the Chrome Sync feature is automatically enabled, so that Google can collect the Chrome user data from students on its servers, as the indictment describes.
Facebook claims claims are in fact incorrect
"These claims are factually incorrect," said a Google spokesperson in a statement to The Wall Street Journal . "With G Suite for Education, schools can manage access to accounts and schools need to request permission from parents themselves when needed. We do not use personal information from users in primary and secondary schools for advertising purposes."
In November, privacy experts in the Volkskrant expressed concern about the use of Google in Dutch schools. Kennisnet, a public organization that supports schools with ICT, estimated Googles market share at primary schools at 70 percent.
YouTube and parent company Google had to pay a fine of $ 170 million (over $ 153 million) in September as part of a settlement with the US trade watchdog FTC. The video website was charged with collecting personal data from children without parents' consent.