A legal suit has been filed against Google in the state of New Mexico of the United States. The suit has been filed against the corporation for the alleged violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
Alphabet's Google search engine, was sued by the Attorney General of New Mexico for allegedly collecting students’ personal information without parental consent. It was alleged that an educational software of the corporation used by the students collects personal data.
Google has dismissed the allegations as "factually wrong". It is the Google Chromebook laptop and G suite that are at the center of the issue. The company sells the Chromebooks to schools globally alongside its free or low-cost G Suite for Education software package, which comprises of emailing and writing tools.
According to the Attorney General’s office, there have been findings suggesting that the Chromebooks that were given to the children below 13 years of age, transmitted information including the Web browsing history, location, passwords etc. to Google, which is in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
The point of contention, as of now, is not that there are evidences of misuse of the information thus garnered, but that the information can be a potential revenue source.
Google spokesperson has stated that the G Suite for Education provides control of the students account to the schools, and they are required to obtain parental consent.
The Federal Trade Commission, which oversees the child privacy law, has said that school districts essentially provide the consent when evaluating and purchasing educational software.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.