Digital Privacy: New Mexico Sues Google Over Children’s Privacy Violations
From The NY Times:
New Mexico’s attorney general sued Google on Thursday, saying the tech giant used its educational products to spy on the state’s children and families.
Google collected a trove of students’ personal information, including data on their physical locations, websites they visited, YouTube videos they watched and their voice recordings, Hector Balderas, New Mexico’s attorney general, said in a federal lawsuit.
“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 said.
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From the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office
The types of information collected include geolocation information, websites visited, terms searched for on Google and YouTube, contact lists, voice recordings, and more. Federal law prohibits companies from collecting these types of information from children under 13 without parental consent. The New Mexico Office of the Attorney General filed a similar lawsuit against Google and several other tech companies in September 2018, alleging illegal data collection from child-directed mobile apps. The companies have denied wrongdoing, and the case awaits a decision by a federal judge in Albuquerque. In addition to filing the suit, Attorney General Balderas has communicated with schools across New Mexico and let them know that there is no immediate harm to the continued use of these products and that this lawsuit should not interrupt daily instruction in our schools. Attorney General Balderas also wrote a letter to Google’s Chief Executive Officer demanding that the company immediately cease the practice
From the Albuquerque Journal/AP
The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office filed a similar lawsuit against Google and other tech companies in 2018, targeting what Balderas described as illegal data collection from child-directed mobile apps. That case is pending in federal court, but the companies have denied wrongdoing.
The latest lawsuit claims that more than 80 million teachers and students use Google Education. Balderas said in a letter to New Mexico school officials that there was no immediate harm if they continue using the products and that the lawsuit shouldn’t interrupt activities in the classroom.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.