Google’s Apps for Education Violated US LawsAdded: Friday, March 28th, 2014
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The tech giant already faces a lawsuit in the United States over scanning of emails to deliver ads, as it violates state and federal wiretap laws. In its filings for the lawsuit, Google has admitted scanning the contents of US students’ emails via Apps for Education suite. Apparently, this rose new questions about the compatibility between US kids-protection legislation and Google.
9plaintiffs accused the tech giant of breaching wiretap legislation, and are going to launch a collective “class action”lawsuit in order to force Google to be more open about its policies. Only 2 of them are students, but industry observers agree that the case raises the thorniest questions for Google.
It turned out that Google scanned and indexed the students’ emails if they used tools for education, even if their schools have turned off the ability to display ads. The scanning allows Google provide spell check, virus and spam protection, and “Priority Inbox” feature. And there’s no option to turn this one off.
This practice could violate a US legislation called Ferpa (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) – the main law guarding student educational records. The law was not written in an age of cloud computing, and therefore can conflict heavily with Google’s efforts to expand into education.
At the moment, over 30 million students, teachers and administrators use Google Apps for Education. The company claims it is committed to protecting the privacy and security of its users –including students, of course. For instance, advertisements in Gmail are turned off by default for those apps and Google isn’t going to change that.
As part of the lawsuit, the company argued that the two student plaintiffs consented to their emails being scanned when they first logged in. But since this service is provided to thousands of schools across the US, it raises a question of whether the search giant is data mining the school emails of millions of people for financial gain. The matter is that students, parents, and teachers have never been informed that the contents of their email can be used for advertising purposes.
In the meantime, some industry experts aren’t so concerned, because the interpretation of Ferpa remains an open question, at least due to its age (40years). The law can’t adequately define what constitutes an educational record nowadays.
March 28th,2014Posted by:
Friday, March 28th, 2014
|posted by (2014-03-29 12:47:23)|
|The US supreme court declared that corporation are people why don't they get slap with criminal charges and put google in jail?||
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