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Thursday, December 3, 2015

EFF Accused Google of Spying on Kids through Chromebooks

Google spying on kids, Google, Google Chrome books spying

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a complaint on December 1, 2015 at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accusing Google of collecting perrsonal data from school children through Google's Chromebooks in classrooms.

EFF, a non-profit organization that advocates civil liberties said that the data collected by Google for Education violates several terms of a Student Privacy Pledge signed by Google in January.

They said that they have establish a number of questionable practices by Google while conducting research for its "Spying on Students" campaign, which launched yesterday. Designed to highlight privacy risks associated with the use of school-supplied software and electronic devices, though the campaign using Chrome browser's "Sync" feature Google were able to track and mine data about students' browsing activities, search terms, YouTube viewing habits and saved passwords. Though the company does not collect student data for advertising purposes.

Google's Sync feature is enabled by default on Chromebooks sold to schools. The feature enables Google to track, store on its servers. They can also data mine for non-advertising purposes records of every Internet site students visit, every search term they use, the results they click on, videos they look for and watch on YouTube, and their saved passwords.

EFF said that "Google doesn't first obtain permission from students or their parents and since some schools require students to use Chromebooks, many parents are unable to prevent Google's data collection."

The EFF's complaint asks the FTC to investigate Google's privacy practices.

Google rejects EFF complaint over student data privacy violations their spokesperson said, "Our services enable students everywhere to learn and keep their information private and secure. While we appreciate EFF’s focus on student privacy, we are confident that these tools comply with both the law and our promises, including the Student Privacy Pledge."

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