New Mexico’s Attorney General – Hector Balderas filed a lawsuit against Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Google on Thursday for collecting school children’s data. According to the lawsuit, Google is collecting details like passwords, videos watched, sites visited by the pupils, and contact lists.
Google gathers data from G-Suite and chrome books
Google is gathering data from G-Suite and Chrome Books, which are issued almost free of cost as part of the education programme to over 60% of the students. The G-Suite for education comprises Drive, Calendar, Gmail, and Docs. Hector said Google violated the children’s online privacy protection act. The company has collected the data of children aged below 13 years without the nod of their parents. Google is collecting data without the knowledge of students, even when the technology is not used for educational needs.
According to a communiqué from Hector, any company offering services to children should give top-most priority to safety, mainly in schools. Tracking and collecting the data of students without the permission of their parents is not only illegal but dangerous. He further said Google should inform the parents that it will collect track and collect data from their children. The company is illegally collecting data under the disguise of education. It has stripped the autonomy of parents and children and controls their sensitive information.
Hector sent a letter to Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Google and Alphabet, on Wednesday demanding that Google must stop illegal, ongoing, and active data collection of children. According to the revelations of investigations, Google is tracking children across devices, internet, outside the educational sphere, and in their homes without obtaining the consent of their parents. It has gathered data from children from commercial purposes.
80 million teachers and students use the education platform
According to the lawsuit, 80 million students and teachers in the US use education tools and platform offered by Google. Google said the dispute claims are factually wrong. A spokesman for Google – Jose Castaneda stated the programme provides a control account access to the students, and the school authorities need to obtain the permission of parents when required. Jose said the company does not use the personal information of the students in the secondary and primary schools to target ads.
No imminent threat in using Google Products
Hector has contacted several school districts in the US and assured that there is no imminent danger in using Google products.