May 25, 2022

Privacy: Google Admits to Data-Mining Student Emails

From an EPIC Blog Post:

In a sworn statement filed with a federal court, Google has admitted to scanning student emails to serve students targeted advertisements. Although Google does not display ads in Apps for Education, Google “does scan [student] email” to “compile keywords for advertising” on Google sites.

Google has gained access to student emails pursuant to the Education Department’s recently revised regulations, which significantly weakened the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal student privacy law. Still, Google’s practices appear to contravene the Education Department’s “best practices” for online educational service providers.

More From the Electronic Privacy Information Clearinghouse (EPIC):

More Info,  Background

Education Week: Google Under Fire for Data-Mining Student Email Messages (March 13, 2014)

Greg Sterling at Marketing Land: Google Seeking To Keep Depth Of Gmail Scanning Confidential (March 17, 2014)

Bloomberg: Google Wants E-Mail Scanning Information Blocked (March 17, 2014)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.