In order to spy on future consumers, Google has been tracking the digital lives of children as young as 3 to 5 years old. The tech giant has been bringing technology to America’s classrooms for a while now. We don’t know whether the tech giant was genuinely trying to improve the studying methods or if all this had a hidden agenda.
In the last few years, Google has become an integral part of almost every school in America by offering free web-based services that give children access to the company’s email, calendar, and drive services.
According to the lawsuit, filed by Hector Balderas, Mexico’s attorney general:
The consequences of Google’s tracking cannot be overstated: Children are being monitored by one of the largest data-mining companies in the world, at school, at home, on mobile devices, without their knowledge and without the permission of their parents.
The lawsuit also states that Google has misled schools and parents with constant assurances that there were no privacy issues with their educational product whatsoever, even though it was regularly keeping track of sensitive material such as the kid’s whereabouts and online behavior.
If we look at the available statistics, Google education, marketed as a purely educational tool, is used by more than 80 million educators and students. Hence, Google has access to everyone’s digital lives and personal data, as stated by the lawsuit.
The lawsuit adds:
More valuable still, and Google has captured generations of future customers who are trained to use Google’s platform as early as kindergarten. Google has used Google Education to spy on New Mexico children and their families by collecting troves of their personal information.
This data-mining act violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act that requires companies to take parent’s consent before acquiring any information regarding their children.
When asked to comment on the matter, one of Google’s spokespersons dismissing the allegations said:
These claims are factually wrong. Suite for Education allows schools to control account access and requires that schools obtain parental consent when necessary. We do not use personal information from users in primary and secondary schools to target ads. School districts can decide how best to use Google for Education in their classrooms, and we are committed to partnering with them.