Google To EFF On Student Privacy: “Our Tools Comply With Both The Law And Our Promises”

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Yesterday, the EFF introduced the launch of a marketing campaign referred to as ‘Spying on College students’ to boost consciousness about privateness dangers for know-how used at faculties. The marketing campaign got here with a grievance that it filed with the FTC towards Google, claiming that the corporate collects and knowledge mines faculty youngsters’s private information, together with what they seek for.

EFF employees lawyer Nate Cardozo had this to say yesterday:

Regardless of publicly promising to not, Google mines college students’ shopping knowledge and different info, and makes use of it for the corporate’s personal functions. Making such guarantees and failing to stay as much as them is a violation of FTC guidelines towards unfair and misleading enterprise practices. Minors shouldn’t be tracked or used as guinea pigs, with their knowledge handled as a revenue middle. If Google needs to make use of college students’ knowledge to ‘enhance Google merchandise,’ then it must get categorical consent from mother and father.

All of it comes again to Google’s Chromebooks (and Google Apps for Schooling suite) being doled out at college and a “sync” feature, that’s turned on by default, probably tying private knowledge to high school work, actions and communications. In response to the EFF, Google has informed them that the sync feature might be turned off by default quickly.

Google has responded right now, in addition to the co-founders of the “Student Privateness Pledge.”

It’s clear that Google’s mission to get their computer systems into faculties and enterprise organizations is to clasp down on a new potential stream of Google (and Alphabet) shoppers. “Get em whereas they’re younger” is a battle cry for a lot of entrepreneurs, however Google has made a press release to set the document straight. Jonathan Rochelle, Director of Google Apps for Schooling, stated in a submit:

On December 1st, the Digital Frontier Basis (EFF) revealed a grievance relating to Google Apps for Schooling (GAFE) and different services particularly Chrome Sync. Whereas we respect the EFF’s focus on scholar knowledge privateness, we’re assured that our instruments adjust to each the regulation and our guarantees, together with the Student Privateness Pledge, which we signed earlier this yr.

Rochelle added: “Faculties can management whether or not college students or academics can use further Google shopper providers — like YouTube, Maps, and Blogger — with their GAFE accounts.”

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You possibly can learn your complete publish right here, which incorporates explanations of every of the EFF’s points.

The co-founders of the “Student Privateness Pledge” every say that the EFF misunderstands its pledge and the grievance has “no benefit.”

Private knowledge is past necessary, as our whole lives are unfold out over a number of providers that function online in a method or one other. Having a watchdog searching for teenagers is nice, however in response to Google, the EFF is campaigning towards a state of affairs that isn’t occurring.

Source : TechCrunch