It seems like if not every day, then at least every other day we hear about Google’s exploits. The media is buzzing every time the technological titan does something news-worthy, and generally the company is more or less seen in a positive light. Well, not this time. Read on to find out the reverse of the medal: Google accused of invading privacy.
- 10 million Chromebooks are currently being used around the world
- 50 million students and teachers around the world are using Google Apps for Education
- Over 200 major companies signed the Student Privacy Pledge
- The first Google Doodle was dedicated to the Burning Man Festival in 1998
- Google plans to scan all 129 million book in existence by the end of 2020
The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a complaint against Google this Thursday, as they claim that the company is in breach of the Federal Communications Act by accessing and mining the data of all the students using Chromebooks.
Chromebooks are a variety of laptops provided by Google to schools across not only the US, but across the world. Along with their Google Apps for Education, the company provides platforms to study to numerous schools, thing that can be seen as nothing but helpful, albeit slightly self-promotional.
However, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation accuses, the information registered by the devices is then sent back to the Google servers, and the data is analyzed for monetary gain. This would, in itself, not be such a bad thing, as the company is only getting back some of the money invested via the Chromebooks and free apps.
But unfortunately for them, Google, along with 200 other companies, signed the Student Privacy Pledge, prohibiting them from using or mining any data from students. If the EFF’s claims are accurate, the gigantic company is in violation of the Pledge’s terms.
Google has refrained from making any comments related to the subject other than saying that they provide educational services for students around the world, and while they appreciate the EFF’s concerns, they are certain that nothing they did was in violation of the Pledge or the students’ privacy.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation did receive a win, as Google decided to interrupt their synchronizing function on the Chromebooks, a function that allowed them to synchronize Google accounts across all devices. However, as they say, this is a small victory for the privacy of students using the company’s services everywhere.
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